A federal judge, who wants to be appointed to the nation’s highest court, should answer for freeing high risk offenders during the pandemic. This is the conclusion Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) reached at a confirmation hearing for the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
Since the pandemic started the senator has been very concerned about Ketanji Brown Jackson’s push to release violent criminals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic you advocated for ‘each and every criminal defendant in the D.C. Department of Corrections custody should be released’–that would have been 1,500 criminals back on the street if you had had your way,” she said on Monday, March 21, during Supreme Court confirmation hearings as broadcasted by PBS NewsHour.
Blackburn revealed many of these defendants were accused of serious crimes, including drug trafficking, bank robbery and even murdering a law enforcement officer.
“You used the COVID-19 pandemic as justification to release a fentanyl drug dealer, bank robber addicted to heroin, and convict who murdered a U.S. Marshal into our communities,” she can be heard saying.
“Your efforts to protect convicts began before the pandemic, you used your time and talent–not to serve our nation’s veterans or other vulnerable groups–but to provide free legal services to help terrorists get out of Gitmo [Guantanamo Bay detention camp] and go back to the fight,” she added.
The Republican was also unimpressed by Jackson’s arguably soft stance on sexually exploited minors.
“You also have a pattern of giving child porn offenders lighter sentences. On average you sentenced child porn defendants to over five years below the minimum sentence recommended by the sentencing guidelines,” she said.
Jackson refused to discuss specific cases. She instead promised to be an impartial associate justice, if successfully appointed to the Supreme Court.
“[I will] apply the laws to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath,” she said according to the Associated Press.