I feel the need to pre-empt an argument I am certain will present itself as the nation debates whether a U.S. Supreme Court nominee assaulted a young woman when they were both in high school.
The argument will go something like this: Brett Kavanaugh is entitled to a presumption of innocence.
To which I will say: Oh, no he isn’t.
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a party in the early 1980s. She alleges that Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth and sought to tear her clothing off.
He denies the incident happened.
Now, he is entitled to make all the denials he chooses to make. However, he isn’t standing trial for his alleged misdeed. The issue at hand is a purely political one: Should he be seated on the nation’s highest court? Donald Trump has nominated the federal judge to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
Ford then came forward to say, in effect, “Not so fast. The judge did something to me that needs to be reviewed.”
A second woman now has alleged a similar incident occurred involving Kavanaugh.
I am not passing judgment on Kavanaugh. I want to hear him defend himself. I want to gauge his body language. I also want Christine Ford to speak publicly about what she accuses him of doing to her, and I want to read her body language.
But I am not going to grant Judge Kavanaugh some phony presumption of innocence. He’s not on trial. He’s only trying to persuade the U.S. Senate to grant him a lifetime job.