Republican Lines Of Attack Against Jackson Take Shape

Mitch McConnell. Getty Images/TPM Illustration.

With the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings next week, Republicans are starting to indicate their preferred attack lines against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Still, Republicans seem disinclined to vociferously oppose the confirmation: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this week that it’s “highly likely” she’ll be confirmed. That doesn’t mean they’ll waste the opportunity to get their shots in.

On the floor this morning, McConnell said that “her service as a criminal defense lawyer and on the U.S. sentencing commission give her special empathy for convicted criminals.” A popular offshoot of this “soft on crime” GOP narrative is a focus on her defense of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Hawley’s Jaw-Dropper

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  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) took the theme in a more radical direction, claiming in a lengthy Twitter thread that Jackson has been notably lenient with sex offenders, particularly those who hurt children. 
  • “I’ve been researching the record of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, reading her opinions, articles, interviews & speeches,” he wrote. “I’ve noticed an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.”
  • A White House spokesperson called the comments “toxic and weakly-presented misinformation.” 
  • “I’m not sure that someone who refused to tell people whether or not he would vote for Roy Moore is an effective and credible messenger on this,” added White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at her briefing. 

All Critical Race Theory All The Time

  • Far-right commentator Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire is taking a slightly different tack. 
  • They’ve rounded up her praise of critical race theory scholars, her mentions of microaggressions and her advocacy for diversity in university faculty recruitment as seeming fodder for criticism. 
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