Grassley Nails Dems for 'Hiding' Records on Ketanji Brown Jackson

Grassley Nails Dems for 'Hiding' Records on Ketanji Brown Jackson
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

On Monday, at the opening of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Democrats claimed that asking questions about Jackson’s approach to crime or critical race theory — legitimate areas to ask questions about — wasn’t being “civil.”

The Republicans excoriated the Democrats for their hypocrisy for calling for “civility” after the vicious way they have treated so many nominees — especially nominees of color — over the years, accusing nominees of everything from religious bigotry to serial rape. Democrats have no standing to complain about anything after what they have done,

Yet Republicans were being fair and sticking to the issues, while Democrats were still playing games, according to the GOP.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican member on the Committee, busted the Democrats for hiding documents on Jackson during her time when she was the vice-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission under Barack Obama from 2010-2014. He said that the Obama White House withheld 48,000 pages under the Presidential Records Act that the Committee is entitled to look at.

“That’s a lot of hiding,” Mr. Grassley said. “The limited number of useful records we received from the Obama White House show exactly why Sentencing Commission documents would have been important. There are a number of dark money groups on the left that argue federal judges should make policy decisions based on the judges’ own values.”

Grassley pointed out the leftist group Demand Justice played a role in Jackson being on the Commission.

“The Demand Justice co-founder even interviewed Judge Jackson about a nomination to the Sentencing Commission. It would be helpful to know what the Demand Justice co-founder learned during that process and why they so strongly support Judge Jackson,” Mr. Grassley said.

“They’ve strongly supported the so-called ‘progressive’ prosecutors who are soft on violent crime in the face of a rising crime wave in cities like San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Los Angeles,” he added.

Given the questions that have been raised by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and other Republicans about whether Jackson is “soft on crime,” her decisions on the Sentencing Commission would be important information to evaluate. Grassley said that the Democrats want to use Jackson’s experience on the Commission as part of why she should be confirmed but they don’t want to turn over all the records related to her work there.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn pointed out some of the other questions:

“She doesn’t seem to have a judicial philosophy. She will not be clear about where she [supports] court packing. I have talked to a lot of women who were quite concerned about her record when it comes to how she’s dealt with crime, how she’s been soft on criminals, and soft on child pornographers and child abusers,” Blackburn said during an interview with Fox News over the weekend. “I’m very troubled about her record, whether it was when she was in private practice, the sentencing commission, or on the bench. She would’ve let 1,500 prisoners go during COVID. Among the ones she let go were a murderer, a bank robber. These are hardened criminals back on the streets.”

So what are they sitting on in the records and why wouldn’t they turn them over? Is it because they likely would raise even more questions along these same lines of going too easy on criminals? We’ve already seen the horrible effect that such policies have had on major cities with progressive prosecutors. What we don’t need is someone who has that same mindset with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, so it’s vital to get as much information as possible on that question. But Democrats are doing all they can to run a block on that information.

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