According to a report, progressives are concerned about the 2009 sentence that J. Michelle Childs handed down to a man for a nonviolent marijuana offense.
The White House noted, however, that this decision is only one of the “thousands”, Childs has made in her many years as a Judge. She also stated that she supports “access to justice for all criminal defendants.”
The American Prospect, a progressive publication reported Thursday that Childs, when she was a South Carolina county circuit judge, sentenced William Roy Goodwin, who had smoked half a pound of marijuana, to 12 years imprisonment.
According to the Prospect, Goodwin was caught selling marijuana to an undercover officer using hidden cameras. Goodwin pleaded guilty to several charges and was expected to receive a sentence of up to five years because he was a repeat offender.
According to the Prospect, however, prosecutors had argued for a much longer sentence and Childs agreed. Goodwin was sent away for more than ten years. “The hits keep coming. We now know Judge Childs threw a guy in the clink over a decade because he took too many tokes,” Tom Nelson (progressive Democrat Senate candidate in Wisconsin) said. “How many reasons can we give to reject her nomination?”
“President Biden is evaluating Judge Childs to fill the Supreme Court vacancy because he is proud of her nomination for the D.C. “Circuit court: because of her record, character, and values.” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates stated to Fox News Digital in response to the Prospect report. “She has been an honorable federal judge since President Obama selected her in 2010. This was based on her South Carolina experience, as well as her exceptional integrity as well as her unwavering commitment towards justice.
Bates also spoke out about the work Childs did in his capacity as a judge for drug-related charges and other criminal defendants.
She has made thousands of decisions in her 16 years as a judge. Judge Childs, a federal judge, created and continues to administrate Columbia Bridge, her court’s first program for drug courts. This has helped defendants with drug-related offenses get out of prison and into drug treatment and reform,” Bates stated.
He said: “Moreover, she prioritized access justice for criminal defendants as a judge in state courts, and adjusted her courtroom’s hours so that public defenders could spend more time with their clients than waiting in court. We have already stated that the President is considering her as one of many highly qualified Supreme Court nominees. Attacks will not influence his decision.
Goodwin stated to the Prospect that he was devastated by his sentence and was granted “more time” than those who had killed someone. It was insane. It was crazy,” he claimed.
Childs’ sentence was revealed in this case as momentum continues in both red and blue states for recreational marijuana legalization, as well as in the federal government.
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing for legislation to legalize marijuana in the federal government. He may have some friends in the GOP. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is pushing for federal cannabis legalization in Congress.
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He supports protections for state-legal cannabis businesses. He is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act which seeks to allow such companies to access financial and banking services that are currently not available.
Both Durbin’s and Schumer’s offices did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding the Prospect story on Friday morning. Fox News Digital also did not reach out to Childs’ spokesperson.
However, some members of the legal cannabis sector noted that Childs’ conviction against Goodwin is part a larger pattern of decades-long drug wars and demanded that the federal government act on marijuana legislation.
Narmin Jarrous (chief development officer at Exclusive Brands in Michigan) stated that there are too many Americans, mainly from Black and Brown communities, who are either in prison or being targeted for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
“It’s these cases that help illustrate why bills like the MORE Act, or the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, that contain social equity provisions, are desperately needed to be passed in Congress,” Luis Merchan (CEO international cannabis production company Flora Growth) told Fox News.
Childs is currently a federal court judge in South Carolina. Before Justice Stephen Breyer announced that he would retire at the end of his current term on the Supreme Court, she was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) is a strong supporter of Childs and holds significant influence at the White House. In recent weeks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also praised Childs.
D.C. is also a top candidate for the Breyer vacancy. Circuit Judge Ketanji Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and President of NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill.
The White House chief of staff Ron Klain met Thursday with Senate Democrats to discuss the vacancy. Multiple Democratic senators stated that they believed the White House had already selected its Supreme Court nominee. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that it seemed like the White House had already selected a Supreme Court justice.