Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) gave better than he got from an ABC News reporter on Monday who tried to pin him down over his criticism of President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson, as he accused her of using “White House talking points.”
ABC’s Rachel Scott pressed the Missouri Republican and former state attorney general on why he has allegedly voted for judges in the past who are soft on child sex predators but is pushing back on the quick confirmation of Jackson.
“But how is it acceptable for a lower court, if it’s not acceptable for a higher court?” Scott asked Hawley.
“I’m not sure which judges you’re referring to, if there are judges who are soft on child porn offenders, in a systematic kind of pattern,” he responded, adding, “But again, I’ve only voted for one Supreme Court justice.”
Scott said that she examined Hawley’s voting record for judicial nominees, which she said “shows you have voted for at least three federal judges who have imposed lighter sanctions on child porn offenders. So, how do you square that?”
“I know that’s the White House talking point, but I think it’s a dangerous one,” the senator continued. “You gotta be careful with that. It’s the old, ‘Well, everyone else is jumping off a cliff, so I will, too.’”
The Daily Wire noted further:
Scott asked Hawley if he regretted his past votes, to which the senator pushed back asking for the judges’ names and cases when they were allegedly soft on child porn offenders. “Well, I’m not sure which judges you’re talking about; I have not seen the White House’s talking points on this. But this is their new line,” the Republican told Scott.
“It’s public information, we actually have it, here,” Scott told Hawley, naming Judge Joseph F. Bianco, who was appointed as a United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit by then-President Donald Trump.
“And what were the cases?” Hawley asked Scott several times.
“You voted for them, shouldn’t you be familiar with their record, as well?” Scott responded.
“But what were the cases?” Hawley asked again.
When she could not answer, that led Hawley to chuckle and offer, “You don’t know their record.”
“What cases, was it after their confirmation or before?” Hawley again posed.
Scott started to respond, “Do you expect me to just…”
“Well, I expect you to know the facts since you’re asking me about them,” the senator told her. “So, how many cases did they have? Judge Jackson had seven, I just listed them. So what are the ones that these judges have?”
“The larger point, senator, which I think that you’re not —,” Scott said, chancing gears before Hawley interjected again.
“So, you don’t know. You’re just here to do a ‘gotcha.’ When you know the facts, come back to me,” he said. “Good luck!”
This audio of ABC's Rachel Scott trying to trap Josh Hawley over Ketanji Brown Jackson's record on child sex predators is just too good.
— Curtis Houck
Hawley publicly questioned Jackson’s fitness for the bench based on her record last week on Twitter.
“I’ve been researching the record of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, reading her opinions, articles, interviews & speeches,” the senator posted to Twitter. “I’ve noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.”
“On the federal bench, Judge Jackson put her troubling views into action,” Hawley said. “In every single child porn case for which we can find records, Judge Jackson deviated from the federal sentencing guidelines in favor of child porn offenders.”
“This is a disturbing record for any judge, but especially one nominated to the highest court in the land,” he accused. “Protecting the most vulnerable shouldn’t be up for debate. Sending child predators to jail shouldn’t be controversial.”