A helpful debunking appeared this week in National Review, the conservative magazine, written by Andrew McCarthy, a former prosecutor who noted he disagreed with Jackson on many legal issues. McCarthy also wrote that Hawley’s accusations were “baseless to the point of demagoguery” and “defamation”. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, pointed out that some of Trump’s nominees had a similar record to Jackson’s on child porn cases, and that Hawley voted to confirm them.
Woke education became another focus of the hearings, with Republicans like Cruz and Marsha Blackburn trying to cast Jackson as an advocate for it. In truth, it has not taken a position on issues that fall into this category. His only – tenuous – connection with them is to sit on the board of trustees of Georgetown Day School, an elite private school in Washington.
That was apparently enough for the Republican National Committee to tweet an image of her this week, with her initials – KBJ – crossed out and replaced with CRT, an abbreviation for Critical Race Theory. (Much of Jackson’s Republican criticism would likely have applied to any candidate, regardless of race, but it’s hard to imagine the same tweet about a white judge.)
The only time Jackson appears to have publicly mentioned critical race theory was in a 2015 speech. It was among a list of disciplines that she said had an intellectual connection to criminal sentencing. , including administrative law, philosophy, psychology and statistics.
A fairer review
To be fair, Republicans are correct that many of the larger issues are legitimate topics for public debate. And on some of them, Republicans can credibly make the case that progressive Democrats are to the left of public opinion (as Times Opinion columnist Thomas Edsall explains).
Most Americans oppose cutting police budgets, for example. Many believe that allowing all transgender girls to participate in women’s sports may be unfair to other girls. Many voters — not just white voters — think liberals focus too much on racial identity. Most Americans are proud of the country and its symbols, including those some progressives consider racist, such as Thanksgiving, the Constitution, the flag, and George Washington.
But by trying to cast Jackson as a replacement for those views, Republican senators are distorting reality. They create a caricature of a liberal Democrat who bears little resemblance to Jackson herself.