(RightWing.org) – When President Joe Biden took office in 2021, he was responsible for nominating his cabinet members. Many either withdrew their nomination or failed to secure confirmation due to their radical ideologies. Now, it seems as though Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee, though widely praised by people on both sides of the aisle, isn’t without controversy, either.
Who Is Ketanji Brown Jackson?
Ketanji Brown Jackson graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 and has had a storied career working her way up first as an attorney, then through various positions in the state and federal courts. She’s currently a federal judge serving on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a role she’s held since 2021. On paper, she has all the credentials and qualifications to serve on the highest court in the land. However, there’s more to a person than just what’s on their resume.
Digging deeper into Jackson’s history, there’s a particular concern regarding a publication she made in a Harvard Law Review. In this note, entitled Prevention Versus Punishment: Toward a Principled Distinction in the Restraint of Released Sex Offenders, Jackson goes into detail about the “unfair” treatment sexual predators receive after they’ve served their time. She addresses the fact that those convicted of these crimes are subjected to “registration, community notification, DNA testing, and civil commitment.”
These actions, Jackson writes, may be unconstitutional. She calls into question the ex post facto law, which she claims prohibits “legislative enactments that impose new punishments for old crimes.” In other words, the preventative actions authorities take once a predator is released from prison are continued punishments, therefore are potentially illegal. The Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments, she continues, back this notion up.
According to SMART, an agency that monitors and tracks sex offenders, between 11% and 17.5% of offenders go on to commit additional crimes. When child molesters are factored in, this rate jumps to an average of 20%, with a higher rate (35%) among those who molested boys. All of this supports valid arguments for implementing additional safeguards, such as notifying a community when a registered offender is moving into or living in their area. Add in the fact that many experts believe these types of offenders can’t be effectively rehabilitated, especially those who are preferential offenders such as in the case of child molesters, and the safeguards make more sense.
With these facts in mind, arguing against the so-called “punishments” is a concern, because if Jackson makes it to the High Court as Justice Stephen Breyer’s replacement, how will her feelings on this subject shape the court?
When he was campaigning for the presidency, Biden made it clear that he would nominate a black woman to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) if given the chance. That opportunity is here and he’s followed through on that promise. However, it’s important to look beyond her skin color and gender to her beliefs and past stances, as well. Because it’s these factors, much more so than her historical appointment, that will determine the direction the court takes with her sitting on the bench.
Copyright 2022, RightWing.org