Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy pushed back on Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s remarks Monday regarding Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record.
The Missouri senator pointed to Brown’s record on cases involving child pornography, accusing her record of going “beyond soft on crime” and “endangering our children.” McCarthy published a Sunday op-ed for the National Review arguing that Hawley’s allegations were “meritless to the point of demagoguery.”
McCarthy followed up on his claim during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” arguing that the Senate Judiciary Committee should make “a philosophical argument,” rather than make personal attacks against Jackson.
“I think that was very unfortunate on Hawley’s part, there is a soft on crime case to be made against Judge Jackson, but I think the suggestion that she’s soft on child pornography … when you get into the details of what we’re talking about, he’s not even talking about all sex offenders or the worse sex offenders. He’s talking about people who consume images of child pornography.”
McCarthy said he, along with conservative judges and prosecutors, believe the penalties on convicts “on the bottom end” of child pornography cases are “way out of whack.” (RELATED: ‘The View’ Rages Over Sen. Josh Hawley Questioning SCOTUS Nominee’s Record)
“What Hawley has done is conflate all of the offenses that are under the category of sex offender and suggest that she’s soft on all of that stuff, and I don’t think the case is there for that,” he continued. “I think what she was dealing with were cases at the bottom of the system and she’s hardly the only judge that has had a problem with that.”
McCarthy argued in his piece that Hawley “misleadingly” used the term “sex offender” too broadly since there is a major distinction between those consuming and producing child pornography. He also defended Jackson’s push to scrap minimum mandatory sentences for first-time consumers of child porn.
“Judge Jackson’s views on this matter are not only mainstream; they are correct in my view,” McCarthy wrote. “But other than the fact that Congress wanted to look as though it was being tough on porn, there’s no good reason for the mandatory minimum in question — and it’s unjust in many instances.”
Hawley raised concerns on Wednesday regarding Jackson’s ruling on the case United States v. Hawkins, when she sentenced a convict to 3 months imprisonment despite the sentencing guidelines calling for 10 years in prison. Then, he pointed to the case United States v. Stewart, when Jackson reportedly sentenced a convict to 57 months for possessing thousands of child porn images, despite guidelines recommending 97-121 months in jail.
A group of House Republicans, led by Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, signed a letter Monday calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate three cases where Jackson ruled on child pornography cases.