It is a well-known fact in Washington that almost no one likes Senator Ted Cruz. At Judge Jackson’s hearings, his obnoxious arrogance and bullying was on full display. Cruz is a weakling who after being emasculated by Donald Trump, (who also verbally degraded his wife and father) is constantly auditioning to be embraced by MAGA, Q’anon Trump loyalists. Cruz performed a “demagogic, bad-faith effort on Tuesday to imply that Judge Jackson would bring a racially focused agenda to the Supreme Court, coupled with a “soft on child pornographers.” Cruz, like other Senators used the hearings to audition for the presidency instead of conducting a professional effort to examine the judges process on how she rules on cases and writes her legal opinions. Cruz and other MAGA Republicans like him are unskilled or disinterested in the art of examining, learning and respectfully disagreeing with members of another party. Like their golden boy Justice Kavanaugh, displaying an aggressive, sarcastic, accusatory demeanor is acceptable for these white men to direct towards women, especially women of color.
Cruz displayed a chart listing prison sentences handed down to child pornographers by Judge Jackson. His point was to promote her and the Democrats as ” soft on crime,” especially for child pornography criminals. Judge Jackson neutered his attempt to disparage her character by educating Cruz about the bipartisan support for lesser sentences for child pornographers by the majority of the Sentencing Commission. “In a 2021 report, just 30 percent of offenders who possess or share such material received a sentence within the guideline range in the 2019 fiscal year, and 59 percent received a sentence below the guideline range. In the nine cases the Republican lawmakers cited, prosecutors also sought shorter sentences than were recommended in five, according to a review by Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University.” ( New York Times, Linda Qiu, March 21, 2022). Berman also wrote that “federal sentencing guidelines for child sexual abuse imagery are widely recognized as dysfunctional and unduly severe and that “federal judges nationwide rarely follow them.” In his teardown of Judge Jackson, Cruz consistently left out the broader context of aspects of Judge Jackson’s record he was attacking. The smarmy insincerity of Ted Cruz guarantees he will never be president. That was proven again today by his unprofessional, staged performance for the MAGA voters.
Harley is a member of the far-right wing of the Republican party that has replaced the decency and heroic legacy of Republicans like Senator John McCain and former President George Herbert Walker Bush with an extremist, authoritarian ideology. Hawley is an arrogant extremist who in servitude to Donald Trump has lowered the moral values of America and tried to deconstruct democracy while pretending to honor it. During the confirmation hearings for Judge Brown Jackson this week, Hawley demonstrated a display of insulting disrespect in his questioning of her. Like Senators Graham and Cruz, Hawley questioned the judge incessantly about child pornography cases with an obvious agenda of pandering to his Q’anon followers who believe strange conspiracy theories about pedophilia. He got a lot of information wrong about Judge Jackson’s judicial reasoning reflected in her sentencing history. It was obvious Hawley wasn’t trying to learn about the judges judicial process involved in sentencing practices, but rather was invested in exploiting the topic of child pornography for his evangelical, Q’ Anon base.
Jackson noted that “in each of these cases where the defendants were found guilty she has imposed a significant sentence “and all of the additional restraints that are available in the law. These people, she said, are looking at 20, 30, 40 years of supervision. They can’t use their computers in a normal way for decades. I am imposing all of those constraints because I understand how significant, how damaging, how horrible this crime is.” ( CNN Politics, March, 22, 2022). Hawley used his time dedicated to vetting Judge Jackson to get on a soapbox promoting maximum sentences for child pornography defendants that most judges of both parties reject.
Senators Graham, Hawley, Cruz, and other far-right extremist Senators lost votes from independent and moderate Republicans today. Their aggressive behaviors smacked of misogyny tinged with racism and political opportunism. Someone tell these guys not to waste time practicing writing their “never-going- to- happen” inauguration speeches.