A helpful debunk appeared this week in National Review, the conservative magazine written by Andrew McCarthy, a former prosecutor who noted that he disagreed with Jackson on many legal issues. McCarthy also wrote that Hawley’s accusations were “undeserved to the point of demagoguery” and “a slander”. Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, has pointed out that some Trump nominees had a similar track record to Jackson in child pornography cases, and that Hawley voted to confirm them.
Woke education has become another focus of the hearings, with Republicans like Cruz and Marsha Blackburn attempting to portray Jackson as an advocate for it. In reality, she has not taken a position on the topics that fall under that category. Her only — tenuous — connection to them is on the board 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, short for critical race theory. (Much of the Republican criticism of Jackson probably would have applied to any nominee, 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 speech in 2015. It was part of a list of disciplines she said had an intellectual connection to criminal convictions, including administrative law, philosophy, psychology and statistic.
However, there is one wider political risk to Democrats here: imagining the Republicans are simply playing their ground by making this misleading criticism of Jackson. They also try to appeal to the swing voters.
Many of the issues in the hearings are legitimate issues of public debate, even if they are largely irrelevant to Jackson’s nomination. And on some of them, Republicans can plausibly argue that progressive Democrats are on the left side of public opinion (as Times Opinion columnist Thomas Edsall explains).
For example, most Americans are against cutting police budgets. Many believe that it may be unfair for other girls to allow all transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports. Many voters — and not just white voters — think liberals focus too much on racial identity. Most Americans are proud of the country and its symbols, including those that some progressives consider racist, such as Thanksgiving, the Constitution, the flag, and George Washington.