VIDEO: Judicial Nominee Gets Grilled Over Trans Prisoner

Screengrab of U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn responding to Senator Ted Cruz | Image by Ted Cruz/YouTube
Screengrab of U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn responding to Senator Ted Cruz | Image by Ted Cruz/YouTube

Senate Republicans slammed one of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees on Wednesday over her recommendation to place a transgender rapist in a women’s prison.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing for her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and faced backlash over her 2022 prison directive. She transferred convicted rapist William McClain, who later identified as a transgender woman named July Justine Shelby, to a women’s prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) opposed the decision.

Shelby was convicted of molesting a 9-year-old boy, raping a 17-year-old girl, and sharing child porn. The convict wrote a letter describing their purported struggle with gender dysphoria and fear that a male prison would not be safe.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned Netburn’s rationale for supporting the request.

“Miss Shelby said, ‘I don’t want to go to a male prison. I want to go to a female prison,'” Kennedy told Netburn, per ZeroHedge. “And the Board of Prisons said, ‘What planet did you parachute in from? You’re going to a male prison with this kind of record.’ And you sent him to a female prison, didn’t you? You said that the Board of Prisons was trying to violate Miss Shelby, former Mr. McClain’s, constitutional rights, didn’t you?”

Netburn responded:

“I issued a report and recommendation to the district judge recommending that the district judge transfer the petitioner to a women’s facility. My recommendation was that the petitioner’s serious medical needs were being denied by keeping her in a men’s facility.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed similar concerns as Kennedy in a lengthy exchange with Netburn.

“And this individual, six-foot-two, biologically a man. A minute ago, you said that when this man decided that he was a she, that you said this individual was quote, I wrote it down, ‘sober and entirely a female,'” Cruz told Netburn.

“Sorry, what I meant to say was hormonally a female,” Netburn said.

“So you took a six-foot-two serial rapist. Serial child rapist with male genitalia,” Cruz replied. “And he said, you know, I’d like to be in a women’s prison. And your answer was, ‘That sounds great to me.’ Let me ask you something. The other women in that prison, do they have any rights?”

“Senator Cruz, I considered the facts presented to me, and I reached a decision,” Netburn replied.

“You said you didn’t care about the women,” Cruz claimed. “I’m going to quote what you wrote. You wrote, quote, ‘the Bureau of Prisons claimed penal logical interest in protecting female prisoners from sexual violence and trauma. This interest is legitimate … but there are no signs that petitioner is at risk of reoffending … The theoretical risk of sexual assault by the prisoner without more cannot support the BOP’s position.'”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) eventually interrupted the grilling, claiming that Kennedy and Cruz were “witness badgering” and it was time to move on with the hearing, per The National Law Journal.

“I just want to commend this nominee for her comportment because what her comportment says to me is that she is going to be a damn good judge,” Hirono added.

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