Brett Kavanaugh is credibly accused of attempting to rape a girl while at a party in high school. It does not need to be said that we don’t know for sure if he did it–that much is obvious. Probably only a few people will ever know for sure.
But the many people attempting to defend Kavanaugh and cast doubt on the accusations have no basis on which to say the accuser is “lying.” They similarly do not know.
Kavanaugh is facing confirmation to the highest court in the land. He is facing a job interview. He is not facing a trial. If he loses, he returns to his lifetime job as a judge at the level of the U.S. district court. He will not be deprived of his life or liberty.
The National Review‘s David French, however, stated on Twitter, “We cannot and must not abandon the notion that an accuser bears the burden of proof. It’s not enough to raise suspicion. If you make a claim, you have to support it at the very least with your sworn testimony.”
In fact, that is not the case for a Senate nomination. Sure, the accuser should testify in Senate. She wants to. The Republicans, however, have been rushing the process. Many Republicans as early as September 19 had already said they would be prepared to vote without hearing her testimony. Tenn. Sen. Bob Corker wrote, “Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.”
By now, the accuser has already agreed to testify, despite the FBI not having conducted a background investigation, although she is still negotiating terms.
We should hear the testimony with an open mind. We shouldn’t subject the vote to the standards of a court of law. We should subject it to the standards of confirmation for the highest court in the land–standards that could very well be different for different senators, but none so high as proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
My own viewpoint is this:
Better to mistakenly keep an okay man off the Supreme Court than to put a bad man on the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court isn’t some kind of fundamental right. No rights are possibly being denied here. The Supreme Court serves the people, and we deserve to be sure we are getting the best employees to judge our laws.