Why was he sentenced to (only) three months?


A potent instructional moment: Why was Wesley Hawkins, 19 years of age at the time, sentenced to (only) three months in prison back in 2013?

This became a leading question in this week's confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson has been nominated to, and will soon sit on, the United States Supreme Court.

Back in 2013, why did Judge Jackson sentence Hawkins to (only) three months in prison, instead of to the 24 months requested by the prosecution? Instead of to the 18 months recommended by the probation department?

All in all, at the end of the day, it's a perfectly reasonable question. It's also a thoroughly straightforward question. On its face, you wouldn't think the question would be hard to answer.

That said, did the question ever get answered this week? As far as we know, it did not. 

As far as we know, Judge Jackson never answered that question during this week's hearings. (We're continuing to search the transcripts, trying to see if she actually did.)

Here at this site, we suspect we know why Hawkins didn't receive a longer prison sentence. We could be wrong in our assessment, but we'd be willing to take a guess.

Beyond that, we aren't sure that Hawkins, 19 years old at the time, should have been sentenced to prison at all!  We aren't saying that Judge Jackson was wrong to impose a (short) prison sentence. We are saying this:

In our view, it isn't obvious, in any way, that the sentence should have been longer.

We suspect we know why Judge Jackson imposed that shorter sentence. We also suspect we know why she never really explained her decision this week.

These questions all arose in the course of the latest set of highly contentious confirmation hearings. Then too, along came the highly scripted tribal reactions of our floundering national press corps.

What explains that three-month sentence? What do we mean when we say that Judge Jackson never answered that question?

Also, was it wrong when Senator Hawley (R-Mo.) brought that question center stage? If Hawley was wrong in what he did, what was his specific error?

We'll explore these questions next week, sifting through the broken discourse which emerged from this week's events. For today, we'll only say it again:

From our perspective, it isn't clear that Wesley Hawkins, age 19, should have been sentenced to prison at all. Others would have favored a much longer sentence. As best we can tell, they're entitled to that view, and we don't regard it as crazy.

In theory, we're all entitled to our views—but do we know how to respect the views of Others? Also, are we able to notice the occasional, extremely minor imperfections which may emerge, on the rarest occasions, from those on our own side of the aisle?

Are we able to traffic in minor complexity now? Or is it all tribalized Storyline—Storyline all the way down?

Fuller disclosures: The Washington Post has interviewed Hawkins, who's now 27. To read that report, click here.


  1. "In theory, we're all entitled to our views—but do we know how to respect the views of Others?"

    Oh, but you don't have any views -- not you personally, dear Bob, you do have some (albeit a only few) -- your liberal tribesmyn have none. All they have is a bunch of talking points. Bullshit narratives that have nothing to do with reality. The moral panic du jour: WHITE SUPREMACY!!! WE'LL ALL DIE FROM THE FLU!!! INSURRECTION!!! DARK LORD PUTIN THE TERRIBLE!!!

    Y'know, the liberal shrieking-screeching shit. Yeah, Storyline all the way down.

    1. Does it really bother you that everyone knows the Republican Party is nothing but an amoral dumpster fire of bigots?

    2. Mao, you obviously have a deep seated hatred of everything decent, moral, or true. Release the Kraken!

    3. Mao missed the part where the words shrieking and screeching were being applied to Tucker Carlson, not liberals.

  2. She could have just lied, like Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and John Roberts did during their confirmation hearings. Didn't affect their ability to get on the SCOTUS, anyway. Although, I'm not sure our Right-wing corporate-owned media (AKA the media), would let a Democratic President's nominee get away with it.

  3. "All in all, at the end of the day, it's a perfectly reasonable question. It's also a thoroughly straightforward question. On its face, you wouldn't think the question would be hard to answer."

    Why does Somerby assume that the purpose of a nomination hearing is to second-guess one of 500 similar sentences made by this judge? As Jackson repeatedly explained, her job was to examine the facts of a case and apply the relevant law to each situation. That is presumably what she did in this situation too. Given that Somerby has no idea what the facts of the case were, how can he presume to examine her thinking? How can any of the senators who examined her?

    Is it right to drag Hawkins into the public eye in order to attack a judicial nominee?

    Can the performance of a judge be evaluated using one single case that was cherry-picked by Republicans in order to potentially embarrass Jackson or make Democrats seem "soft on crime"? Should Hawkins have to have been interviewed now? I don't think so. I find this a reprehensible abuse of the privacy of that person, who has served his time and should be permitted to live his life without harrassment by Republicans trying to count political coup.

    And Somerby joins right in, on cue, pushing the conservative talking point of the day -- that Ketanji Brown Jackson gave too light a sentence and represents a liberal tendency to be soft on crime. Here we see Somerby carrying water for Republicans, not truly discussing anything relevant to Jackson's appointment to the Supreme Court.

    1. Did you read this post as if he was advocating the talking point you mentioned? That she gave too light of a sentence? What do you mean by pushing?

    2. I read the post as saying that Jackson should have answered the improper question, playing into Republican hands. He seems to be saying that she was evasive. He does not examine the propriety of the question at all.

      He says:

      "All in all, at the end of the day, it's a perfectly reasonable question. It's also a thoroughly straightforward question. On its face, you wouldn't think the question would be hard to answer.

      That said, did the question ever get answered this week? As far as we know, it did not.

      As far as we know, Judge Jackson never answered that question during this week's hearings. (We're continuing to search the transcripts, trying to see if she actually did.)"

      It is ridiculous when Somerby says he thinks he knows why Jackson gave the sentence she did. It implies that Somerby thinks the sentence is light, that he thinks it was justified by details of the case. But unless he read the trial transcript, how can he makes such a judgment? Unless he understand sentencing guidelines and their application to cases, how can Somerby claim to know what was in Jackson's mind? He clearly cannot, and I find it offensive that he repeats that he thinks he knows why she gave the sentence she did. He is not a judge or even an attorney. He does not have her years of experience. His assumption that he can second-guess her is presumptuous and his conclusions are highly likely to be wrong. Judges, including Jackson, do a job that requires expertise. Somerby lacks that expertise. But he still says he knows what she was thinking when he cannot.

      Who does that? Someone trying to put words into another person's mouth. Somerone who wants a specific statement in order to portray another person a particular way for political purposes. Somerby is no better than Hawley, and that is pretty bad.

    3. Somerby is pushing the conservative talking point by bringing it up in his column, so that it gets more exposure, especially to liberal readers here. He doesn't have to state it as his own opinion. It gets exposure when he asks why Jackson didn't answer the question, implying that she is defensive about her sentence, which there is no evidence she is.

    4. So a true liberal would never bring the question up? If one brings that question up, they are not a true liberal? Conservative talking points, while not being explicitly advocated, must not ever be mentioned? And if they are, that makes one not a true liberal?

    5. Mentioning them pushes them along to a wider audience. Look at what Somerby says about them. Nothing liberal. That Somerby does this frequently is what makes him not liberal, not one instance where he might have something to say about such talking points.

    6. To me, that is a childish take. Childish, to the point of sadly stupid. I'm very sorry that anyone would have a take as childish as that. But such is your right.

    7. You are correct that "perfectly reasonable question," in this context, is galling. But it is purposeful to look at this matter more fully, and so far Bob has not strayed too badly. We'll see....

    8. No, Somerby has completely evaded the point. It sounds like you have not read any of the comments above, which explain why Somerby is off track today. For you to say he has "not strayed too badly" implies that you didn't understand a word said about this line of questioning. If you understand why "perfectly reasonable question" is galling, you should also understand why Somerby has strayed, but you don't seem to do that. This is not something you can have both ways.

  4. Was Kavanaugh asked to go back and explain his prior rulings, case by case?

  5. Somerby accuses us of not respecting the views of Others. What views are Somerby talking about today? Is Somerby arguing that Jackson should have answered this question (in which case it is her view) or is there some Republican position about this case that we are expected to care about, even though Jackson supposedly didn't answer the question (based on Somerby's essay today)?

    On the left, I have been hearing general outrage that she was questioned in this manner. People are finding it disrespectful. I do too. But Somerby isn't talking about that. He is claiming that some Republican view was not heard or respected. But how can we evaluate the truth of that if Somerby doesn't explain what view he is talking about.

    Republicans used their questioning time to make statements about the mistreatment of Kavanaugh and prior Republican nominees. Those aren't questions and they surely disrespect the time of the nominee as well as the Democratic committee members. Beyond that, Republicans interrupted Jackson and attempted to browbeat her. That too is disrespectful to a nominee. Instead of asking her about her views on cases involving trans people, they asked her to define what a woman or a man is, and she rightly replied that she is not a biologist. Instead of accepting her answer, Republicans howled that she was being non-responsive.

    From Somerby's tone today, it appears he will claims she was non-responsive to questions like the one he poses today too, about the length of a sentence in a specific case. Jackson cannot answer that off the top of her head and it is wrong to demand a response, nor is it clear that she should be rehashing such a case.

    Her qualification for the court does not rest on this type of question. The stats on her sentencing across cases shows that she is no "softer" than the average judge in her sentencing. But if she were, that would not be a disqualification. Kavanaugh and other Republican nominees have been much softer on business and that did not make them ineligible. But the facts remain that she is not soft on pedophiles or any other crimes. Republican questioning is designed to manipulate public opinion, not elicit information, and that is an abuse of this nomination process.

    Somerby sounds oblivious to that. His questions are offensive in this context. He is fooling no one when he states that these are reasonable, much less appropriate questions, and notes that Jackson may have failed to answer them. Personally, I believe she did respond to them, even if she didn't give Somerby the answer he and conservatives wanted -- a soundbite for their negative campaign ads portraying Jackson as a dangerous pedophile-loving enemy of Q.

  6. It depresses me to see Somerby treat Hawley's line of questioning as if it were legitimate and not disrespectful of Jackson's qualifications and the purpose of the hearing.

  7. "The Constitution empowers the president to appoint Supreme Court justices, subject to the “advice and consent” of the Senate. In theory, confirmation hearings allow senators to ask probing, incisive questions of the nominee, cannily gauging their fitness for a coveted life-tenured position on the bench. In practice, hearings typically consist of senators droning on about a constellation of topics that may or may not have anything to do with the nominee, the job, or even the law itself. It is like a public job interview, if half the people asking questions were making a big show of barely acknowledging your existence."

    From: https://ballsandstrikes.org/nominations/supreme-court-confirmation-hearings-brief-guide/

    "What this means is that modern Supreme Court confirmation hearings are less a diligent examination of a nominee’s record than a glorified chance for senators to land a spicy quote in The New York Times. Nominees are stuck nodding along politely with whatever a given senator says, no matter how silly or nonsensical the senators’ “questions” get. My personal favorite moment involved Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, an obstetrician, asking Kagan to re-read The Federalist Papers before taking the bench, which is sort of like me offering Tom Coburn some friendly advice on how to perform an emergency C-section.

    Because hearings are a glorified performance, both parties coordinate their lines of questioning to cast aspersions on the nominee or allow them to defend their record, as the case may be. Thus, expect Republicans to spend their allotted time with Jackson grandstanding, howling about as many scary-sounding things as they can think of in the hopes that something resembling a criticism sticks. Democrats will take turns asking friendly questions, creating opportunities for rebuttal, and otherwise running out the clock. When senators of either party aren’t talking, they might not be paying attention at all. During John Roberts’s confirmation hearings in 2005, cameras caught Coburn whiling away the afternoon with a crossword puzzle. "

    Cruz, Hawley, Blackburn in particular are using this hearing for partisan purposes. Pretending that there is legitimate questioning taking place is beyond-naive and appears supportive of the Republican attacks on both Jackson, the President, and Democrats. That's why Somerby's approach to pinning down Jackson is partisan.

  8. The fanatics of the GOP only declare; they don't ask.

    S rides the hobby horse of "tribalization" way too much.

    1. That view of "tribalization" itself arises from the right-wing press.

    2. Not sure what your point is.

    3. My point is that Somerby's discussion of tribes is itself a conservative meme.

  9. If Somerby were serious in asking why certain questions are not answered fully, he might ask why Hawley's is focused on pedophile sentencing and not murder sentencing or even 1/6 crime sentencing. It is a call-out to the Republican Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and believers who think the Democratic party and the federal government are teeming with pedophiles who need to be wiped out by Trump's second coming. That question is an attempt to insinuate the Jackson may be part of the Democratic Party's pedophile ring.

    If this were stated explicitly, not simply dog-whistled, it would be libelous. Somerby's efforts to help this along should be recognized for what they are, not treated as serious inquiry.

    1. While a Q fan might enjoy the Circus this week, I'm afraid the hearings may represent something worse. There is a large subset of American voters too confused to understand much beyond that Child Molestation is wrong. What are they going to talk to these people about? Healthcare? Global Warming?
      Military Spending? It's all pretty complicated even for smart people.

    2. Even a totally uneducated person understands the need for healthcare during a pandemic. People understand these issues as they are affected by them. Arguing that the general public is too stupid to understand anything but pedophilia fear-mongering sells a lot of people way too short.

      I'm not sure where Greg is coming from on this, but people as undereducated as he describes don't tend to vote at all.

  10. Even Q-Anon beliefs deserve hearing. Are they the Other Somerby keeps referring to? Why does everyone dismiss them as crazy instead of taking them seriously? Aren't everyone's opinions worthy of respect? Somerby says they are.

    1. You need to read up on Q-Anon, if you are serious.

  11. Interview with Hawkins is behind a paywall, but it is hard to see how he has anything to say that would be relevant to this hearing?

  12. NBC also reported that a cop tried to temp Hawkins with an offer to party with his 12 year old daughter. He declined. If true, the judge may have also taken this into account.

  13. How else do you evaluate a judge if not by questioning them on their individual rulings?

    1. would you disagree that the Republican purpose was to tie the Judge to Child abuse, to make it seem She more or less approved of it?

    2. Judges do not just breeze in (like your typical doctor) and quickly make a ruling. Cases are complex, most individual rulings are not particularly informative, you evaluate based on a judge's philosophy manifested by the trend of their work.

      Right wingers struggle with notions like context, trends, and philosophy, so their confusion is not unexpected.

      Having said that, clearly the Republican Senators were just trying to score political points. Everyone knows this, so when Somerby and his fanboys ask their dumb questions, it is clear they are operating in bad faith. They do not come out and say hey we are asking questions in bad faith with a particular agenda in mind, it is through context that it is made obvious.

    3. No. It was a disgraceful wink to the QANON crowd. But a quesion can be proper while the motives behind it are not.

  14. I find the quality of an online comment inversely proportional to the number of insults it contains. My question goes unanswered.

    1. Your question was answered even though it was asked in bad faith.

      Why are you here asking questions in bad faith?

    2. 1000% correct. Bad faith and the bottom line is the GOP since Nixon and Joe Mccarthy.

    3. One person calls a question "dumb, another says it is "low quality", both are insults of the same variety.

      You have a lot to answer for 3:15, yet you offer nothing but whining.

    4. Still unanswered. Still the champ.

    5. You are not much at answering questions yourself, are you? The contention here is, rather obviously, the small set of individual cases is chosen to appeal to the sub mental, and then misrepresented with grotesque meanness. Hope that helps.

    6. Thank you for providing an answer! My perplexity arose after reading that questions at a judge’s nomination hearing should NOT “second guess”—that is, ask questions about—a judge’s rulings.

      You seem to allow that in general a judge’s rulings can be questioned, with the caveats that the questions not appeal to the “sub mental” crowd, and not in some way involve “grotesque meanness.”

      I’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you against grotesque meanness, while also noting that one’s man’s sub mental crowd is the next man’s salt of the earth.

    7. Your problem, Krazy Kat, is that you are not acknowledging that this particular ruling was chosen (out of hundreds) to imply that Jackson is soft on pedophilia. Not only is that a distortion of her record, but it is intended as fear-mongering and a call-out to Q-Anon supporters. It has engendered headlines like this one, from The Hill:

      "The Supreme Court is about to get a justice who goes easy on sexual exploiters of children
      03/27/22 09:30 AM EDT"

      The judge is being questioned, not her rulings (which have already been subject to appeal as a matter of due process). In that sense, the purpose of the hearing is NOT to second-guess the judge's past decisions but to determine the judge's fitness for the Supreme Court. There is a distinct and separate process to examining specific cases. As an appeals court judge, Jackson was part of the process too, after being a district court judge.

      Your nit-pick outshines Somerby's and that is not intended as a compliment.

    8. As near as I can tell, you Krazy Kat have not answered any of the questions raised by @12:05, the person who used the phrase second-guessing and cherry-picking cases.

    9. You insist we treat two plus two equals four the same way we treat two plus two equals five. You pretend bird dogging child molestation and virtually ignoring all other legal issues has no obvious intent. Sadly, this is what rationalists like Bob who have pretty much abandoned reason have been doing for decades. Enter Trump.

    10. It may surprise you to learn I suspect Hawley and Company’s child pornography-themed questions to be not too subtle winks to the QANON crowd, and that I find this winking deplorable.

      I’m trying to peck away at the notion expressed most recently by 10:44 above, that judges’ individual rulings are not fair game for questioning.

      10:44 seems to think such questioning legitimate during the appellate process only. This position baffles me. A ruling that was appealed would seem to warrant the most scrutiny by an outside evaluator.

      12:05 seems to argue that neither Somerby nor senators can question Jackson’s prior rulings because they have no idea “what the facts of the case were.” Why should we think that? The senators are for the most part attorneys, and have information about the cases available to them and to their staff members. Why would they not know what the facts of the case were?

      12:05 also asks if Jackson can be fairly evaluated using a single, cherry-picked case? The answer is no. But the proper response to this notion is to refute it, not render it illegitimate.

      And finally, none of any of this has anything to do with 2 + 2 = 5. We are in the realm of reasoning and human behavior, far away from the certainty of mathematics.

    11. You are ignoring the responses to these points offered here. (1) a summary across multiple cases is more informative of a judge's tendencies than a single case and that summary shows Judge Jackson to be no different than her peers and not "soft" on pedophiles at all. (2) A judge cannot comment on a ruling out of context because the context determined the judgement. (3) Disagreement with a ruling is not a basis for determining a judge's competence. It suggests that the person disagreeing has greater authority in deciding what is right or just than the person being appointed to the bench, and arguably that is not true of Hawley or anyone else attacking Jackson. (4) The distinction between refuting and rendering illegitimate makes no sense. It is the refutation that makes the argument illegitimate, supports that claim. (5) Mathematics is a human invention. It has no existence separate from the humans who use it and developed it -- it is socially constructed. That places it squarely in the realm of reasoning and human behavior. As evidence, note that different cultures have developed different mathematics. Some have had no concept of infinity, some no zero or no negative numbers in their number system.

      Judges rulings are fair game but not the kinds of questions asked by Hawley et al. What would be the point of isolating a single wrongly sentenced case, assuming Jackson were too lenient? Does it prove all of her cases were misjudged? Does it make her unfit because she may have had a bad day? There needs to be a pattern of such cases for it to reflect on Jackson's fitness and that was neither demonstrated by Hawley nor by the statistics for her cases. You cannot make a generalization using a single data point, as Hawley attempted to do. But raising the case was to float the idea of a soft-on-pedophiles justice, a scare-tactic, not legitimate questioning. A single case might be used similarly to a hypothetical, to explore a judge's philosophy, but Hawley did not do that.

      Somerby style, you seem to be suggesting that my objection was to the use of a specific case during questioning and not to the use of a case by Hawley in the manner in which he did so. Like Somerby, you seem to think that if you can rehabilitate the legitimacy of Hawley's single-case approach, then it makes the rest of what Hawley said OK -- it doesn't. Like Somerby, you wish to have us think that your arguments are only about a principle, such as ever using a single case with a nominated judge, but you are in effect, arguing in support of Hawley and that is as bogus as it gets. No one here has been arguing a larger principle in the art of nominee-questioning. We have been talking about Hawley's political motives, and so are you when you persist in trying to say Hawley was on solid ground or reasonable with what he asked. And neither is Somerby.

    12. # 1,2: I simply disagree.

      #3: Disagreement is unrelated to authority. I can disagree with a judge while acknowledging his authority to decide a case.

      #4: As I’m using the terms, refutation acknowledges the argument and rebuts it; illegitimacy says the argument should not be answered, is not worthy of being answered.

      #5: it is the certainty of mathematics, its tautological nature, that renders it distinct from human thought and behavior. How mathematics came into being isn’t relevant for this distinction.

      In your third paragraph, you seem to think my goal is to render what Hawley said “okay,” “on solid ground” and “reasonable” despite my stating I found Hawley’s arguments deplorable. I simply think he should be allowed to make them, rather than being cancelled.

    13. You can’t point out Republicans are who we thought they were, without pointing out what they are.

    14. No one is being cancelled when people disagree with or complain about what they said during their alotted time during a hearing as a member of congress. We have been pointing out that Hawley is a bad congressman who abused his office for partisan gain.

      Your concern for him is noted.

    15. You’re correct that I shouldn’t have said cancelled.

      What I’m trying to get you to realize is there’s nothing inherently wrong in questions on an individual ruling.

      The proof: if Dick Durbin brought up an individual ruling where he felt Jackson had shown much wisdom, or laudable compassion, would you have castigated him for it?

      The method and how it’s executed are separate.

      And at no point have I expressed concern for Hawley. What enables you to say that is your psychic ability, which knows whether I’m acting in bad faith, whether or not I know it.

  15. I sympathize with Judge Jackson on this question. As a judge she made hundreds or thousands of judgmental decisions. An honest answer about this one would probably be that in weighing all the factors, she felt that 3 months was the proper choice. I don't think you can expect her to remember all the individual factors that affected each of her many decisions.

    1. Hundreds or thousands, really?

      Anyway, how do you explain that they're refusing to provide her records; 48,000 pages of them?

      Had those records been available, perhaps it would be easy to see the pattern -- or the lack of it. And that would be it, end of story.

    2. Don't worry about it loser.

    3. Those records are in the Pizza Parlor where Hillary has the underground passage.

    4. Oh, that's from the letter signed by 50 former intelligence officials; nicht wahr, dear dembot?

    5. They signed a letter confirming Pizzagate? You should link to that....

  16. "Said [Marjorie Taylor] Greene: “You know what? Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycle, and he and his husband can stay out of our girls bathrooms. Yup.”

    All the evidence you should need about whether Republicans are dumb.

  17. "Robert Foster (R), a former Mississippi House lawmaker who lost a 2019 bid for governor, called for the execution of those who support the rights of transgender people, the Mississippi Free Press reports.

    Said Foster: “The law should be changed so that anyone trying to sexually groom children and/or advocating to put men pretending to be women in locker rooms and bathrooms with young women should receive the death penalty by firing squad.”


    This kind of thing is not politics as usual. Republicans like this guy have gone bonkers. Dumb doesn't capture the full flavor of this guy's violent fantasies and fear-mongering.

    When Somerby argues that Republicans should be treated with respect, like rational adults, he cannot be referring to Marjorie Taylor Greene and this guy who threatens a firing squad while describing trans people as "men pretending to be women" in order to attack children in bathrooms. This is demagoguery threatening violence against those with different views, and there is no reasoning with folks like this -- nor is there any point in listening to what they have to say. This guy and MTG are beyond deplorable, and proud of it.

  18. From RawStory:

    ""Republican and QAnon supporter Lauren Boebert wins House race in Colorado," was the headline in Axios when she won the November general election.

    And on Saturday, Boebert returned to her QAnon political roots by alleging the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court was part a vast conspiracy to protect pedophiles...

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has led the GOP's QAnon adjacent attacks on Judge Jackson.

    "It’s no accident that Republicans have landed on this particular accusation," Jamelle Bouie wrote for The New York Times. "The belief that Democrats are pedophiles — and that at its top levels the Democratic Party is an elaborate pedophilia ring — looms large in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is something like orthodoxy for a substantial portion of the Republican base. In a poll taken just before the 2020 election, half of Donald Trump supporters agreed that 'top Democrats are involved in elite child sex-trafficking rings.' And in a poll taken last year by the Public Religion Research Institute, 15 percent of Americans say that 'the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.'"

    Republicans have been accused of turning the nomination hearings into a "QAnon circus."

    "The Republican attacks on Jackson are a QAnon dogwhistle, and QAnon followers have heard the message. In a recent piece, my newsroom colleagues David D. Kirkpatrick and Stuart A. Thompson describe how 'the online world of adherents to the QAnon conspiracy theory sprang into action almost as soon as Senator Josh Hawley tweeted his alarm.' On forums and in videos, QAnon supporters have blasted Judge Jackson as 'an apologist for child molesters' and a 'pedophile-enabler.' Where the Republican base goes, the politicians follow. That was true with the Tea Party, it was true with Trump, and now it is true with QAnon," Bouie explained."


    But Somerby thinks Hawley's questioning was "perfectly reasonable," right in line with this outcry from the Q-Anon crowd. There is no way to see Somerby's own response as anything but a part of a coordinated right wing attack on this Democratic nominee.

  19. Are pedos the next liberal minority in need of protection?

    1. Oh, leave your family out of this.
      (But actually, thanks for confirming what this was all about. You really didn't need to.
      Did you visit Dennis Hastert in Jail?)

  20. From Alex Woodward at the Independent (via Digby):

    "Before Senate confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, Republican Senator Josh Hawley announced plans to question the US District Court judge over what he characterised as her lenient “treatment of sex offenders, especially those…

    The senator, who has not served as a judge, was involved with prosecuting sex crime cases as Missouri’s attorney general from 2017 to 2019, including a case in which a county sheriff admitted to sexually abusing a woman.

    His sentencing called for two years in prison. He was released on probation.

    In 2018, Mr Hawley’s office was appointed to serve as special prosecutor in a sex abuse and domestic assault case involving the sheriff of Knox County.

    According to a probable cause statement filed with the Knox County Circuit Clerk by a representative of then-Attorney General Hawley’s office, Robert Becker had a “violent” history with the victim, who alleged that Becker “choked” her with a shirt in December 2017.

    In April 2018, the sheriff’s department searched the woman’s home. Becker accompanied the search.

    While officers looked through the property, Becker stood in front of the woman while she was looking for items in a bathroom, then “removed his penis from his pants and put his penis” in the woman’s mouth without her consent, according to the complaint.

    Becker resigned and was charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic assault and misdemeanor sexual abuse, crimes punishable up to one year in prison.

    The case was not brought to trial. Under a plea agreement, Becker served no jail time and was placed on two years’ probation.

    “There is no place for law enforcement officers who abuse their power,” Mr Hawley said in a statement at the time. “As a result of today’s plea, Mr Becker can no longer serve in any law enforcement capacity. The Knox County community is safer as a result of today’s action.”

    Mr Hawley stepped down from office in January 2019 following his election to the US Senate.

    1. Part 2 -- continuing from above:

      "His successor, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, tried to revoke Becker’s probation agreement and have him sentenced to jail for two years, after Becker was charged with illegally using a firearm to shoot quail on a highway just one week after his sentencing.

      In November 2020, a judge ruled that Becker failed to complete mandatory sex offender counseling as required under his plea agreement, sentencing him to 20 days in jail.

      As Missouri’s attorney general, Mr Hawley also established a Human Trafficking Task Force.

      Last year, one member of the task force accused him of “putting his career before sex trafficking victims,” leveraging publicity with a focus on offenders rather than working to protect survivors, and using an “anti-trafficking platform and dedicated people as pawns to gain public recognition for himself.”

      “Though we did not expect Hawley would lead every meeting, his involvement became negligible after the second time we gathered. Some of our initiatives were ignored or delayed by his absence,” Pam Hamilton wrote in a column for The Kansas City Star.

      An attorney for survivors of people who claim to have been sexually abused by priests in Missouri also said Mr Hawley rejected her demands for an investigation.

      “I stood outside your office with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to ask you to organize an investigation into abuses within the Catholic Church in Missouri,” attorney Nicole Gorovsky wrote in a letter to his office in August 2018.

      “We asked for an investigation like the one that occurred in Pennsylvania which revealed over 300 perpetrators and likely over 1,000 victims,” she said. “You responded that you did not have the power to do such an investigation.”

      But that month, Mr Hawley said he accepted an invitation from Archbishop Robert Carlson to open an investigation, saying that the church’s cooperation would allow a “thorough, fair, impartial and indeed vigorous investigation – that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

      “Facts are powerful things,” he told reporters. “And what the public wants, above [all] else, is they want an accounting. They want an accounting of the facts.”

      Ms Gorovsky wrote that his announcement was “exactly backward.”

      “Allowing the accused wrongdoer to pick and choose what will be provided in an investigation of his wrongdoing is not an investigation at all,” she said. “It is certainly not what I was asking for as I stood outside your office … and I do not believe it is what survivors of clergy abuse want either.”

  21. From The Palmer Report:

    The American Bar Association Standing Committee has three possible ratings it gives nominees to the Federal Judiciary: “well qualified,” “qualified,” and “not qualified.” The Standing Committee evaluates nominees based on “professional competence, integrity, and judicial temperament.”

    On March 18, 2022, the Standing Committee gave Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson the same “well qualified” rating it bestowed on the most recent Supreme Court nominees making the differences between the Standing Committee’s ratings of nominees too subtle and unreliable to be useful.

    For example, the Standing Committee’s “well qualified” rating of Ketanji Brown Jackson was by unanimous vote, while Amy Coney Barrett only received the rating of “well qualified” from a “substantial majority” of the Standing Committee, and a rating of “qualified” by a minority of the Committee.

    For Brett Kavanaugh, in 2006 the Standing Committee downgraded his rating to “qualified” citing concerns about his “professional experience and the question of his freedom from bias and open-mindedness,” and “the nominee’s ability to be balanced and fair should he assume a federal judgeship.”

    However, the Standing Committee upgraded corrupt crybaby Kavanaugh’s rating to “well-qualified” by unanimous vote on August 31, 2018, which Republicans love to tout. Never mind that, after the now infamous September 27, 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, the Standing Committee announced it would re-evaluate Kavanaugh’s rating, citing his ‘temperament’ during the hearings. But, on October 15th, the Committee dropped the review, saying it was no longer applicable after his narrow confirmation.

    During the Senate hearings on Clarence Thomas, following the testimony by Anita Hill, on October 14, 1991, the Standing Committee told then Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden its previous rating of “well qualified” pre-dated the allegations, and it would find him “not qualified” if they were proved true. But the Committee conceded and Thomas was confirmed the next day."


  22. ...it's not their fault, not of 'em pedos. They were born that way.

    God made them pedos. Nay, scratch that; here goes: God made them pedos for a reason!

    Their oppressed, suffering, and utterly misunderstood minority urgently needs your help, dear liberal tribesmyn. Your help and your empathy.

  23. The Post article (how did I threw the firewall?)
    pretty much establishes what we could have guessed:
    Judge Jackson ruled in a compassionate and wise
    fashion in this case. If a cop did indeed offer
    an underage girl to him, all the more so.
    To have entered into an explanation of this at
    the hearing would have been tantamount to trying
    to explain the advantages of not going through life
    as a human garbage dump to Mao. And Krazy Kat
    knows and understands this.

    1. It's gratifying, I'm sure, for you to feel we are on such intimate terms that you can opine without reservation on my knowledge and understanding. However I have no idea what you're talking about, what case this is, or how it relates to my prior postings.

    2. I highly recommend that you read Somerby's essays before attempting to comment on them. The link is there and it is the case Hawley was questioning Jackson about.

    3. Dearest Brenda, thank you for your eminently sensible recommendation. But the link leads to a pay wall, and my original comment was of a general nature unrelated to the specifics of the Hawkins case.