This week, Ken Paxton led attorneys general from nine other states in denouncing President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee for her lenient sentencing of child pornography offenders.

In February, Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson worked as a federal public defender before starting her career as a judge in 2013 after receiving a nomination from then President Obama. Last year, Biden appointed Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

During her confirmation hearing, Republican senators pressed Jackson on her judicial record, including her history of giving shorter-than-normal sentences to those who possessed, distributed, or produced child pornography. In many cases, Jackson handed out sentences ranging from 15 to 70 percent less than what the prosecutor requested.

In a letter sent to the heads of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Paxton called out Jackson for her lenient sentencing of child pornography offenders.

“Judge Jackson hasn’t merely erred on the more forgiving end of a spectrum of available punishments, as many judges sometimes do,” said Paxton. “Rather, during her decade-long tenure as a federal district court judge, she repeatedly cast victims aside, elevated criminal defendants above them, and sentenced the abusers well below the accepted federal guidelines.”

Additionally, Paxton highlighted a selection of Jackson’s statements in which she criticized tough sentencing practices for child pornography offenders, including her view that the minimum sentence for distributing child pornography “may be excessively severe.” Paxton condemned her comments and explained how the continued distribution of child pornography negatively impacts victims for their entire lives.

“In our technological age, the lack of actual touch in some cases makes the crimes no less severe or appalling,” said Paxton. “And because the means and methods of the crimes are digital, they live on forever, thus continually revictimizing children into their adulthoods.”

In one case Paxton detailed, Jackson sentenced a man convicted of child pornography possession to three months, even though sentencing guidelines stipulated a 10-year sentence.

“Judges should be cutting off the supply of porn that feeds these criminal monsters by being tough on offenders,” said Paxton. “Instead, by being soft on them, Judge Jackson has made it more likely for images of child rape to proliferate and thus made it easier for children to be sexualized, abused, and exploited. Bottom line: child pornographers don’t deserve a break; they deserve to go to prison for a very, very long time, and certainly much longer than Judge Jackson ever imposed.”

In closing, Paxton called on U.S. senators to reject Jackson’s nomination in the coming confirmation vote.

“Based on her record, Judge Jackson’s elevation to the Supreme Court would harm that institution, as well as children’s public safety nationwide,” said Paxton. “The United States Senate should do its job and protect the American people from this dangerous nominee.”

Katy Drollinger

Katy is eager to use her skills in writing and research to accurately report on issues for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.

RELATED POSTS

Texas A&M's Pro-choice Advocacy is Despicable, But Remain Hopeful

"Although abortion has wedged its way into our higher education institutions and into our media, there is hope in knowing the brilliant minds who have worked, and who are continuing to work, to reverse toxic pro-choice culture and to save lives, one child at a time."