Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Tuesday pushed back at Republican assertions that she has given lenient sentences in child-pornography cases, as she responded to questions at her Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin of Illinois kicked off the questioning and asked Jackson to respond to GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s claim that she’s more than just soft on crime. Hawley has charged that she has endangered children.
“As a mother, and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth,” Jackson said in response to Durbin, a Democrat.
The judge said she imposes “a significant sentence and all of the additional restraints that are available in the law.”
“These people are looking at 20, 30, 40 years of supervision — they can’t use their computers in a normal way for decades,” she said. “I am imposing all of those constraints, because I understand how significant, how damaging, how horrible this crime is.”
Durbin also asked Jackson to speak about her judicial philosophy, and she responded in part with talk about limits. “I am acutely aware that as a judge in our system, I have limited power. And I am trying in every case to stay in my lane,” she said.
Tuesday is Day 2 of Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s the first hearing day in which the nominee is facing questions from the committee’s Democratic and Republican senators, following opening statements on Monday.