In a trial, the accused must be found guilty by a standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt. But the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings were NOT a trial. It was never Dr. Ford’s (or other accusers’) obligation to “prove” their charges “beyond reasonable doubt” as it would be in a standard court of law. In fact, when the stakes are this high, it is the exact reverse: the benefit of “reasonable doubt” is turned on its head.
The question becomes: is it “reasonable” to believe that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of the charges alleged? If so, the appointment must be denied. You don’t roll the dice for a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land. You better be damn sure. So, again, is it reasonable to believe the charges? By any objective standard, the answer is certainly yes. Here’s why:
- Ford’s testimony was credible and her “selective” memory is consistent with that of other trauma victims.
- Kavanaugh’s testimony was loud, angry, and emotional. He was obstinate, evasive, and played loose with the truth. This is also consistent with the behavior of the guilty.
- The calendar! By Kavanaugh’s own account, on July 1st, 1982, he went to “Timmy’s for skis” with the people listed by Dr. Ford.
- The house! Dr. Ford has described the floor plan from her memory in some detail. It matches the floor plan of Timmy’s parents’ house, especially the narrow staircase leading to the second floor bedroom where the alleged attack took place and bathroom where she hid after her escape.
- Multiple people who knew him in high school and college have come forward to refute Kavanaugh’s soft-soaping of his drinking and behavior. They say he was a mean, violent, and sloppy drunk, and some witnessed his mistreatment of women and girls.
Based on the evidence above is it “reasonable” to believe Kavanaugh may be guilty of the charges? Yes. Certainly, at the very least, his accusers have met this threshold and more.
Is any of this proof that Kavanaugh is guilty? No. Would he be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if he were brought to trial on these charges? Not likely. But to repeat: THIS IS NOT A TRIAL. IT IS A LIFETIME APPOINTMENT TO THE SUPREME COURT.
Still not buying it? You don’t have to.
Even if you throw everything I’ve written above out the window, Kavanaugh still must be found unfit for the Supreme Court of the United States for either of two reasons:
First, his outrageous lack of judicial temperament, his bald-faced partisanship, and his unprecedented disrespect before the Senate Committee – an equal branch of government – was unacceptable and disqualifying. For this alone, the vote must be “no.”
Second, Kavanaugh told multiple, obvious, and verifiable lies to the Congress of the United States. Here is the list. For his lies alone, the vote must be “no.”
Any Senator who votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh blatantly throws away any pretense of standards. It is pure, unvarnished, and cynical power politics with a complete and callous disregard for decency, fairness, and democracy.
Charles Bursell has been heard nationally on SiriusXM, National Public Radio, and The Pacifica Radio Network. He currently hosts the podcast Charles Bursell Presents.