Nobody should be considered guilty until proven innocent in the United States. However, this is exactly what occurred during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process.
Kavanaugh was immediately demonized by much of the Democratic Party after Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he had sexual assaulted her in high school. He was deemed guilty in the eyes of many before any evidence was made public, and before his right of due process. Kavanaugh was not given an opportunity to state his recollection of events until after he was presumed guilty by nearly every Democratic Senator.
Because of the #MeToo movement, Justice Kavanaugh was denied the universal human right of a presumption of innocence and was rejected his constitutional right to due process until after he was believed to be guilty. #MeToo is setting a dangerous precedent around politics and around the judicial system.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process was correctly stated to be the politics of “search and destroy.” It was an embarrassment to the prestige of our political institutions and an embarrassment of the American people.
The standard that the #MeToo movement is placing upon the law is one that should deeply worry the American public. This standard is rejecting due process and stating that if you are accused, it is because you are guilty. There is no ability to clear your name even if the allegations are proven to be false.
In the instance of Kavanaugh, an FBI investigation was conducted to determine if there was any evidence that would support the claims made by Ford. After a week, the conclusions of the investigation stated that there was not substantial evidence to prove the guilt of Kavanaugh.
There was no evidence, yet most Democrats will only recognize him as a sexual assaulter. No amount of evidence will cause them to change their mind about Kavanaugh. This is a rejection of the core of American values and a rejection to the notion innocent until proven guilty.
The #MeToo movement is driving us back to the Salem Witch Trials in its understanding of the law. One accusation can ruin the life of someone even if there is no evidence that supports the claims against you. You can be hanged in the eyes of the public because there is no true form of due process.
The law is no longer about proving someone’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, because in the eyes of this movement, an accusation means that the accused is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. There is no innocence to prevail. Facts are irrelevant in the eyes of their understanding of the law.
The U.S. has due process because sometimes people do lie. As horrible as it may seem, some women do lie about being sexually assaulted. This is why having the right of due process before being guilty in the eyes of the public is so necessary. We cannot allow for people to be guilty just because we believe sexual assault to be a horrific action. Men can be innocent. But if they are not, they should be brought to justice, not by protests, screaming and violence, but through the courts and the legal system.
People having their first instinct to believe the accuser in a sexual assault allegation is a fair belief, but the ultimate decision should be based upon facts. Emotions are not a credible basis to convict. Without substantial evidence, one cannot be found guilty. This is not a precedent to protect men from being convicted of sexual assault, it is a precedent to protect all citizens from being wrongfully convicted.
In the case of Kavanaugh, there was no corroborating evidence discovered meaning that he cannot be found guilty in a court of law. Even in the court of public opinion, fairness should prevent conviction without clear evidence.
If the FBI investigation continues, and true corroborating evidence prevails, then Kavanaugh should be impeached from the bench. But with the lack of evidence, Kavanaugh has not been proven guilty and thus has every right to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court.
Disagreeing with the confirmation of Kavanaugh due to his political beliefs is one thing, but making his confirmation process strictly about an allegation that has yet to provide any substantial evidence is a shameful tactic. It was not fair to the accusers nor was it fair to Kavanaugh.
If the new standard created by the #MeToo movement continues to take hold in our judicial system, we will lose our right to prove our innocence and any accusation against us will mean obvious guilt.
Sexual assault allegations must always be taken seriously and those who make those allegations always deserve to be heard. Yet, those who are accused also deserve to be heard. The #MeToo movement has taken one injustice and replaced it with another.
Sexual assault cases should not be a partisan issue but this is what the #MeToo movement has done. By heavily politicizing every sexual assault allegation, the facts are now irrelevant. The public cannot find someone guilty on baseless allegations. We cannot convict by accusation.
Photo courtesy of wsj.com.