Joe Biden’s pick for the Supreme Court may not have an extensive record of official judicial opinions for the Senate to review. Still, she has argued that America’s criminal justice system is “unfair” to sexual predators in academic work.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote an academic piece in 1996 published in the Harvard Law Review that takes the position that judges should change the process used to assess the constitutionality of some state sexual offenses statutes.
She acknowledged that she was the author of the unsigned piece during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2012. At that time, President Obama had nominated her as a judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
In the piece, Jackson argued that legislation using public safety as “rhetoric” to justify procedures that she said are actually about additional punishment. She alluded to a “climate of fear, hatred, and revenge” that she said is attached to carnal offenders after their release.
Her argument focused on state laws that required convicted carnal offenders to register with law enforcement where they lived after their release. She also argued that requirements to notify fellow residents that they live in their community and civil confinement present legality issues in her view.
Jackson argued that although the laws are often considered valid public safety measures, their constitutionality may depend on ignoring a “punitive” aspect regarding convicts who have completed their sentence of confinement. She argued that there should be a “consistent, coherent, and principled means” of determining if carnal offender requirements are constitutionally valid. She said that convicts were entitled to protection from “unfair and unnecessarily burdensome” post-conviction requirements.
The American Accountability Foundation has revealed the Harvard piece written by Jackson. This conservative watchdog advocacy organization has reviewed the records of several of the judicial nominations made by Biden.
AAF founder Tom Jones said that the Biden Administration had failed again, resulting in Jackson’s nomination. He added that Americans expect the judicial system to “protect children and citizens from sexual predators,” and the public cannot be sure whether Jackson is “more interested in social justice engineering or administering justice.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to announce a schedule for Jackson’s confirmation hearings in the coming days.