If you’re reading this, you’ve probably made up your mind about whether or not Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We’re not going to get into the facts of the matter or whether we think he did it. Here’s what we will say though: Nobody can be 100% certain of what happened besides Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. That said, who cares about 100% certainty?
This idea that we have to be absolutely certain about Judge Kavanaugh’s guilt or innocence is a made-up standard. Heck, even in criminal court you don’t need 100%. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” does not equate to 100% certainty. And what about civil court? There, the standard is “preponderance of the evidence”, in other words, more likely than not. How would Kavanaugh fare in a civil suit based upon what we know? Let’s just say that he’s probably happy that the statute of limitations has run.
As it stands, most of the Republicans in office would have us believe that because we can’t be 100% certain about whether Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh that Kavanaugh is therefore being railroaded. What a load of crap. The woman has made a credible allegation of sexual assault against someone nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice. If you don’t think she’s credible, then why did the Republicans on the United States Senate bend over backwards to give her a chance to be heard? You think they’d do that if they could get away with just calling her a liar and being done with it? No. Her allegations are at the very least credible and she’s earned herself a Senate hearing.
Looking at it another way, if Judge Kavanaugh is indeed innocent, then yes, this is horrible what he is going through. Is it as bad as being sexually assaulted? No. Is it as bad as being sexually assaulted and then being called a liar on top of it? No. Is it as bad as being sexually assaulted and then having to re-live it in front of the United States Senate because you believe it’s the right thing to do? No. If Dr. Ford is being truthful, what has happened to her both in the past and the present is far worse than anything that you think might be happening to Judge Kavanaugh.
One factor we do want to bring up is this theory put out by Trump that if Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted that it would have been reported. Trump’s assertion, like so many of his assertions, is not founded upon anything. In fact, according to the United States Department of Justice, from 2006 – 2010, 65% of rapes and sexual assaults went unreported. That doesn’t mean that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty; however, the lack of a report doesn’t necessarily weigh in his favor either.
So that brings us to the reason for this column. Why is Judge Kavanaugh still being nominated as a Supreme Court Justice? After all, this is the Supreme Court we’re talking about, not some random office job. We’re not arguing that credible allegations from one’s past should prevent you from getting a job ever again. But, again, this isn’t any old job. So why is Kavanaugh still nominated? If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, what does that say about the standards required to be a United States Supreme Court Justice?
We know why President Trump is backing Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh has all but assured that he would side with the President regarding Mueller’s ability to subpoena him or on the issue of whether a sitting President can be indicted. But why are the Senate Republicans so gung-ho for Kavanaugh? Don’t they have a pre-approved list from the Federalist Society that they can just pick from? Just get another Neil Gorsuch clone and be done with it, right? Is this the hill that the GOP wants to die on?
Not to wax poetic when it comes to moral high-ground, but . . . remember when the Republicans were apoplectic over President Bill Clinton and were more than fine doing away with Al Franken. And now somehow Kavanaugh they’re fine with? They must really think that they’d have a tough time shoving a second nominee down our throats before the midterm elections. It’s the only explanation.
We’ll leave you with this: There is a decent chance that Senate Republicans are going to confirm a United States Supreme Court Justice against whom there is at least one credible allegation of sexual assault. Have fun spinning that one come election time. But you know what? The Republicans don’t care. After all, it’s just one, maybe two election cycles at worst. And they’re trading those election cycles for a lifetime of Brett Kavanaugh rulings on the U.S. Supreme Court on issues like guns, abortion, the environment, unions, civil rights, gerrymandering, and voting rights. Game, set, match.