Following the first day of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, conservative columnist Matt Lewis brought down the hammer on Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for his attempted smears of the judge -- going so far as to label the Missouri Republican as "scummy."
Prior to disclosing that his wife previously worked as a fundraiser for Hawley, Lewis made the case that the Republican senator's attempts to make the respected judge look like a friend of pedophiles was "beyond the pale."
According to Lewis, there are reasons that conservatives can use to oppose the judge's nomination, but Hawley's attack was not only appalling but also dishonest coming from a former attorney general.
After writing, "It’s no surprise that the ambitious Mr. Hawley—the first Republican senator to announce he would object to certifying Joe Biden’s election, and who infamously gave a clenched-fist salute to Capitol protesters on Jan. 6 and then tried to monetize it—would make such a disrespectful allegation," the conservative columnist cited a scathing appraisal of Hawley by National Review's Andrew McCarthy -- a former prosecutor himself.
McCarthy wrote, "the implication that [Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson] has a soft spot for ‘sex offenders’ who ‘prey on children’ because she argued against a severe mandatory-minimum prison sentence for the receipt and distribution of pornographic images is a smear," which led Lewis to add, "It’s worth noting that such dishonest political attacks are, sadly, not uncommon."
Rehashing a history of conservative judges who faced grilling by Democrats, Lewis wrote, the Republicans should resist "the temptation to criticize her tenure as a public defender—where it was literally her job to defend people with no other means to defend themselves."
Adding that he personally would not vote for her over policy differences, he added, "I don’t see anything outrageous about Judge Jackson—so far."
Turning back to Hawley, he wrote, "Perhaps Hawley’s decision to smear Judge Jackson as being soft on child porn was a depraved attempt to destroy this nominee while steering clear of anything remotely close to the race issue. But the abuse and exploitation of children is especially heinous, and to unfairly accuse someone of enabling it could destroy their reputation," before adding, "Republicans can vote against Judge Jackson with their heads held high. Doing so would be completely legitimate. What’s not acceptable is misrepresenting her record and attempting to assassinate her character. Hawley, the Big Lie proponent, might not be better than that. But his fellow GOP senators should be. The 'loyal opposition' should not be the 'dishonest opposition.'"
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