Why I think Jackson’s Nomination Should Be Rejected

I went into the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson thinking that she should be confirmed — and would be, by a wider margin than most people expected. I finished the week believing that Jackson’s nomination should be rejected and that Democratic senators and President Biden had made a serious error by not taking seriously enough Jackson’s record of imposing light sentences in child pornography cases.

When I asked Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) what he had taken away from the hearings, he replied that Jackson is “a nice person, has an accomplished background, but when it comes to judging, I’ve learned several things that are incredibly unnerving.”

Chief among these — for Graham and for me — was the three-month sentence for possession of child porn that Jackson gave to Wesley Hawkins. (Jackson’s sentence also included three months of home detention and six years of supervision.) But there were other controversial sentences rendered by the judge — and all of them are facts, not made-up allegations.

“It’s not the sentence she gives in child pornography cases,” Graham told me. “They’re always on the low end, and that is disturbing. But what I learned is that this judge will not consider as a sentence enhancement the fact that the perpetrator … went on the Internet to pull down the images, and the more images the person pulls down doesn’t count in her world.”

Graham also brought to my attention this newspaper’s editorial, which compared Jackson’s hearings unfavorably to the slanderous assault in 2018 on then-nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. That comparison is ludicrous in part because, as conservative pundit Guy Benson pointed out on Twitter, every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn, in part because of the outrageous allegations of drugging women at parties that were allowed to be made against Kavanaugh by Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is now in jail from an unrelated extortion case.

Whether or not one believes Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of assault on her by Kavanaugh while in high school — and I do not — the attacks on Kavanaugh came after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who was the top Democrat on the committee, sat on the allegations for weeks and failed toimmediately share them with the committee, the Senate or the nominee.

No, the two sets of hearings aren’t even in the same universe.

But it’s hardly a revelation that the Kavanaugh outrage remains a scarlet wound on the reputation of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans want nothing to do with attacks on nominees based on alleged acts from long ago, or from high school yearbooks and the like. The battle to redefine what happened in the Kavanaugh hearings will go on, just as it still rages on about the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991.

The GOP did use the Jackson hearings to again revisit the wrongs done to Janice Rogers Brown, a Black California Supreme Court justice who was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit only after a two-year filibuster by Senate Democrats. Judicial politics are now all about memories.

That’s partly because the Judiciary Committee is the front line of the culture war. And it is partly because the left is losing ground in America. And so, it must hold on to whatever turf it has, particularly in the judiciary.

Click here to read the full article at the Washington Post

CA Primary Could Determine GOP Presidential Candidate


James Lacy, author of Taxifornia, explains to radio host Hugh Hewitt why the CA primary in June might actually matter in the quest for the GOP presidential nomination:

Takeaways From Second GOP Debate


As usual, there are so many polls, opinions and scorecards examining who did well during last night’s Republican debate at the Reagan Library. Here are my takeaways – not so much on what happened but where things might lead after the debate performances.

Carly Fiorina impressed those voters looking for outsiders to run the government and she will move up at the expense of Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

Trump, however, probably didn’t damage himself with his base of support and will remain relatively steady although the establishment GOP will still search for ways to make him disappear.

Meanwhile, the establishment will remain splintered for the time being. Jeb Bush showed some spunk (Code name: Eveready) and might reassure his backers to a degree but the establishment is still wary about him. Ohio Gov. John Kasich held steady and could be around to emerge if the Bush doesn’t catch fire. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered another good debate performance but still will find himself stalled behind Bush and perhaps Kasich.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did better than the first debate but will probably not move the needle much.

Marco Rubio showed good knowledge on foreign affairs and will remain in the multi-candidate fray to the end (whenever that may be.) He might also be setting himself up for a VP nod, depending how the primaries break.

Ted Cruz demonstrated his debating skills. He made sure he looked at the camera nearly all the time instead of looking at the questioners. Still, his strategy as the outsider working from the inside has the problem of Trump, Carson and now Fiorina blocking his path as true outsiders.

Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul showed that the GOP is certainly made up of different types but neither will break out to a wider audience with their performances.

The biggest move in the polls the next few days will belong to Carly Fiorina. Many of the debate watchers didn’t see her in the first round when she participated in the JV event.

I missed more questions from radio talk host and attorney, Hugh Hewitt, who along with CNN’s Dana Bash, had a subordinate role to CNN’s Jake Tapper on the moderator panel. Hewitt got into the politics of running for office and winning when he noted that Kasich didn’t seem to want to attack potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton whereas Fiorina would bring up Clinton without being asked.

Kasich explained people were still getting to know him so he was spending time explaining his record. Fiorina picked up on that saying she wanted to talk about records — Clinton’s — and attack it for lack of accomplishments.

At any rate, not enough time for Hewitt who I found was an excellent interviewer when he was one of the hosts as I did his Los Angeles PBS TV show, Life and Times, on numerous occasions in the 1990s.

That’s my reaction. There are many others, of course, from pundits and spinners. Old friends Mike Murphy and Todd Harris were firing off tweets and re-tweeting comments that supported their candidates, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, respectively.

The three-hour debate was Lincoln-Douglas like in length if not in format. The Lincoln-Douglas debates also lasted three hours but had no back and forth arguments or a moderator attempting to gain control. Rather the first speaker talked for an hour, the second speaker for an hour-and-a-half and the first speaker came back for a 30-minute rejoinder.

Not exactly a made for television event.

Originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily