Brett Kavanaugh is a gang-raping attempted murderer who managed to live
a public life of acclaim and honor. Maybe the devotion to his wife and
two daughters, his respect for countless women and their careers, and
his wisdom on the bench are parts of an elaborate plot to get away with
it. Anything is possible.
the idea that the country should convict him and destroy his life with
no evidence other thanrecoveredanduncorroboratedmemories
and creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti’ssay-sois
Donald Trump, who was elected by people who cared deeply about fighting
the progressive takeover of the courts, nominated Brett Kavanaugh to
fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat. D.C. establishment figures on the right
revere Kavanaugh, and praise his extensive judicial record. Before
meeting with him or holding hearings, most Democratic senators said they
planned to vote against him.
hearings ricocheted from interesting discussions of judicial philosophy
to clownish “I
am Spartacus” moments and radical abortion protesters screaming
about their love of killing unborn children.
upon completion did Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein release news that
she’d sat on a claim of sexual assault for six weeks. The media then
began running with uncorroborated and disputed allegations ranging from
Christine Blasey Ford saying she thought Kavanaugh was trying to rape
her and might kill her to Avenatti suggesting that Kavanaugh is a gang
on the Judiciary Committee — in part thanks to Sen. Jeff Flake, cowering
in the face of a smear campaign — bent over backwards to accommodate the
first accuser, no matter how outlandish her requests to delay the
hearing. As was easily predictable, the media and other resistance
members put forth additional claims — somehow even less substantiated
than the initial one — as the days passed.
all has political significance, but let’s take a step back and think
through the ethics of destroying a man without evidence to warrant it.
Of Evidence Must Be Kept High
have rules for evidence in our court rooms that provide excellent
guidance in the general culture. One of these is that the burden of
proof is not on the accused but the accuser. First the accuser presents
his or her case, buttressing it with all the evidence at hand. Then the
accused responds to the accusation using the evidence he or she has. It
is easy to make an allegation but difficult to prove one. This is as it
Founding Fathers were well aware of the danger posed by people throwing
accusations against political enemies. TheSixth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitutiondoes a good
job of explaining some of the rights of the accused in our political
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and
district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district
shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the
witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his
isn’t facing criminal prosecution in part because his accusers have come
nowhere near the standard required for criminal prosecution. And
senators predisposed to vote against him are not the definition of an
impartial jury. That does not mean disputed allegations should form the
basis of destroying a man’s life, career, and reputation. It also does
not mean that a precedent should be established of allowing the left to
weaponize use of disputed allegations to thwart the seating of justices.
Should Not Engage In Mob Justice
profession has as high a self-conception as journalism. And yet in
recent weeks, in an environment where they are accused of being partisan
activists instead of truth tellers, they have dropped their standards
somehow even further.
out of a shared belief that the sacrament of abortion might be
threatened by a second Trump nominee serving on the court, some in the
media are running multiple stories based on reputation-destroying
allegations that have not come close to meeting a journalistic standard.
Mayerand previously well-regarded Ronan Farrow
wrote up a story claiming that a progressive activist recovered a memory
of sexual assault only after being prodded by Senate Democrats to do so.
Even The New York Times — which doesn’t have a sterling track record
when it comes to running with wild accusations — interviewed dozens of
people in an attempt to corroborate the allegation andwas
not able to do so. They found that the accuser Deborah Ramirez had
recently told classmates she could not be certain Kavanaugh was the man
who she says exposed himself to her.
can and should be an important check on declining standards. Instead of
demanding that accusers make reasonable cases, they are helping them
overcome the flaws in their own stories in an effort to defeat a Supreme
Our Senators All Children?
senators announced at the outset of the Kavanaugh nomination that they
would do what it took tostop
him. They have held to their word, believing that any means
necessary is morally defensible.
senators, however, seem to lack the discernment to understand when
they’re getting played by people who hate them and want them destroyed.
not just that they’re losing a political battle, but that they’re
allowing Democrats and the media to destroy a man and his family for
political gain. There is no virtue in allowing a man to be smeared
Political Power Morally
President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the closing months
of his presidency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the
Biden Rule, named after the former senator’s view that Supreme Court
vacancies in the waning months of a presidency should be filled after
the election. It was the use of raw political power, even one with
precedent, and it angered Democrats. That anger is at least defensible.
thank God that Republicans didn’t kill the Garland nomination by tearing
down the man and spending months trying to find high school classmates
to claim attempted rape and near-death experiences.
some point one must consider whether evil means are justified for
progressive ends. The bottom line is that this media-enabled Democratic
smear campaign simply can’t be the standard by which we destroy people.
Watching this miscarriage of justice is radicalizing those who care
about rule of law and political processes that have a semblance of
Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on