The Senate has been holding Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week. While Republican members of the Judiciary Committee told her they wouldn’t be a spectacle or a circus...Ted Cruz, nevertheless, persisted. And it’s going to get worse tomorrow: For the final day, which is reserved for outside witness testimony, Republicans have invited Operation Underground Railroad, a discredited anti-child sex trafficking charity with close ties to QAnon that’s under criminal investigation by the FBI.
The Senate committee released the witness list today, and the last witness is Alessandra Serano, the Chief Legal Officer of Operation Underground Railroad. Republicans have been bleating all week that Jackson went too easy on sentences for defendants in child sexual abuse imagery cases—a blatantly craven, false accusation—and one can only assume that Republicans want Serano to fan the flames and generate clips for Fox News and OANN.
This latest “easy on pedos” nonsense started last week when Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO.) falsely tweeted last week about Judge Jackson’ sentences in seven cases. To date, these allegations have been debunked by the Associated Press, the Washington Post, ABC News, The New York Times, and more. A columnist for the conservative National Review called Hawley’s attacks “meritless to the point of demagoguery.” Plus, Hawley has voted to confirm at least three other judges who handed out similar sentences as Judge Jackson. (None of this stopped Cruz from presenting a chart of these cases during his questioning yesterday, while Hawley brought them up in both his opening statement and his questioning.)
It’s no surprise that Operation Underground Railroad has supporters in QAnon, given that conspiracy theory movement’s obsession with false allegations that powerful Democrats are running a child sex trafficking ring. This is all the more ironic that it’s a Republican Congressman being actively investigated for similar claims.
While Republicans inviting this sketchy, Trump-backed group to testify underscores how baseless their attacks on Jackson are, it’s still scary, as it’s practically an invitation for QAnon devotees to harass her.
People can watch Thursday’s testimony on the Judiciary Committee’s website. The first panel will have speakers from the American Bar Association testifying about Jackson’s legal qualifications, and the second panel is witnesses for the majority (the Democrats) followed by the minority (the Republicans).