Despite the fact that a right-wing smear about SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been debunked, Sen. Charles Grassley was echoing it on Fox News, without challenge, just hours after Jackson was formally nominated.
In a visit to Fox’s Your World show, Grassley (R-IA) said he had voted against Jackson when she was nominated for the D.C. Appellate Court. He praised her “tremendous academic credentials” but also said “she’s the favorite candidate of these left-wing, dark-money groups that are also advocating packing of the Supreme Court, and those sorts of things bother us very much.”
FACT CHECK: Grassley was regurgitating a debunked right-wing smear campaign, from a group called Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), that Jackson was chosen for corrupt reasons. Media Matters explains:
The Judicial Crisis Network is a widely discredited right-wing judicial advocacy organization founded in 2005 that supports the confirmation of conservative judges and has repeatedly lobbed dishonest attacks against Democratic judicial and executive nominees in an attempt to derail their confirmations. The dark money group has also served as a messaging enforcer in service of Republican nominees, most notably former President Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court justices. As recent reporting has confirmed, it is an integral part of the well-funded conservative activist ecosystem that has dedicated itself to packing the federal judiciary with extremist right-wing reactionaries.
On February 3, JCN launched a $2.5 million ad buy claiming that whomever Biden nominates to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat would be a “huge payback” to a philanthropic consulting firm for a “record amount of dark money spent” by progressive groups to help elect Biden and Senate Democrats. JCN’s original ad baselessly claimed that Biden and the Senate were bankrolled by these social impact advisers, which was revised after the firm sent defamation letters to stations airing the ad pointing out that it “has not donated to any political campaigns — and, as a corporation, is legally barred from doing so.” Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino has nevertheless relentlessly pushed the wild claim on Twitter, and turned it against Judge Jackson on the morning of February 25.
Media Matters notes that “minutes” after Jackson was formally nominated, Republicans and their right-wing media pals began spreading the smear. Here’s an example:
Joe Biden just nominated a radical, left-wing activist to serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.— GOP (@GOP) February 25, 2022
His pick was the preferred choice of far-left special interests.
Republicans will make sure voters know how radical his pick really is.
Grassley did his part by spreading the smear on Fox News.
You can watch him do so below, from the February 25, 2022 Your World.
Sooner or later, all will be revealed.
Judge Jackson is not “Far Left” by any sane metric. She’s a former public defender whose actual published opinions show her to be a centrist moderate, in a similar vein to both Breyer and Kagan. We should remember that despite what angry Right Wingers desperately want everyone to think, we really don’t have anyone on the Supreme Court who could be described as “Far Left”, let alone just Left. Breyer is actually a centrist known for agreeing with Right Wingers on matters of criminal justice and other areas. It’s notable that the current roster of Far Right Wingers on the SC are so extreme that even Breyer can’t reach them much of the time. But then, that’s what Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett were appointed to do.
The GOP talking points about Judge Jackson leave out crucial information. Yes, Jackson ruled against the Pence White House and Pence’s childish former spokesman – not because the policies were “conservative” but because they were unconstitutional, barbaric, vicious and at times openly criminal. Yes, Judge Jackson worked with President Obama, including major work at the US Sentencing Commission. That’s not a bad thing at all. I find it interesting that angry Right Wingers paint that as disqualifying, when they cheerled for Kavanaugh and Barrett, both open GOP partisans who worked to shut down Dem voters’ rights in Florida in 2000, with Kavanaugh having earlier worked on the Ken Starr team where he gleefully scripted the most lascivious and embarrassing interrogatories he could throw at President Clinton. Gorsuch is a lifelong partisan idealogue who thought it clever to found a “Fascism Forever” club in school. And yet somehow Judge Jackson working for common sense guidelines for criminal punishments is unacceptable?
The reality here is that Jackson will be a moderate voice, and it will make not a whit of difference on a court dominated by 5 extremist Right Wingers and 1 Hard Right Chief Justice.