As far back as her time in law school, Judge Jackson has questioned making convicts register as sex offenders - saying it leads to “stigmatization and ostracism.” She’s suggested public policy is driven by a “climate of fear, hatred & revenge” against sex offenders pic.twitter.com/2QUcPOnWPR— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 16, 2022
Libertarian Jacob Sullum, at Reason magazine, defends Jackson against Hawley's "demagogic" attacks. ("Demagogic" means telling the public the truth, which may upset them.)
To reinforce his portrait of Jackson as soft on "child predators," Hawley also cited a 1996 Harvard Law Review article that she wrote when she was in law school. His characterization of that article, which was unsigned but subsequently appeared on Jackson's lists of her publications, is just as demagogic and acontextual as his description of her sentencing decisions.
"As far back as her time in law school," Hawley tweeted, "Judge Jackson has questioned making convicts register as sex offenders—saying it leads to 'stigmatization and ostracism.' She's suggested public policy is driven by a 'climate of fear, hatred & revenge' against sex offenders." He added that "Judge Jackson has also questioned sending dangerous sex offenders to civil commitment."
You can read Jackson's article Prevention versus Punishment: Toward a Principled Distinction in the Restraint of Released Sex Offenders, Harvard Law Review, vol. 109, no. 7 (May, 1996), pp. 1711-1728 (18 pages) in PDF here, here, or here.
I've glanced at it, and she's got an actual point that "committing" people for being sex offenders, rather than sentencing them to life imprisonment for their crimes, is actually bad, as Sullum says, defending her.
However, Sullum also defends her from the charge of being soft on pedophiles by saying:
Hawley claimed that Jackson, whose confirmation hearing began today, had shown an "alarming pattern" of "sentencing leniency for sex criminals" who are "preying on children." But the cases he cited actually involved defendants convicted of possessing or sharing child pornography rather than defendants convicted of sexually abusing children. Furthermore, Jackson's downward departures from the penalties recommended by federal sentencing guidelines are the norm among federal judges, who have long criticized those penalties as excessive—with good reason. [Emphases added]
Maybe the other judges are also wrong?
I think Senator Hawley is employing a strategy to expose Judge Jackson’s radicalism. The official position of the ACLU is that the government has the power to criminalize the manufacturing of child pornography, but not the possession of it. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Hawley will have the opportunity to question Judge Jackson. I think he may be planning on asking her if she supports the ACLU’s position on child pornography.
If that, or something like it, is her position, make her and the Democrats defend it.