The Kavanaugh vs. Ford (or the Democratic vs. Republican SCOTUS confirmation) saga has set awful and colossal precedent. Dominoes will fall long after Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed or denied to the Supreme Court. This case speaks to the battle for the heart of the USA.
From where does my analysis come from: As a Secret Service Officer for twelve years and a federal officer for a total of 29 years, I was directly part of such a saga. I was compelled to testify against then-President Bill Clinton in his perjury scandal related to the investigations into rape and sexual assault by numerous women for whom brought civil and criminal suits. Those women, Juanita Broderick and Paula Jones, took to the appropriate channels for seeking justice. Their allegations ran parallel to the criminal investigation of bribery and corruption charges spearheaded by Ken Starr. Even just recently, Monica Lewinsky-- for which many still inappropriately refer to the incident as "The Monica Lewinsky Scandal"-- has professed that her relationship was "inappropriate abuse of authority, station, and privilege" in light of the #MeToo movement. President Clinton was acquitted of impeachment charges, paid one victim $850,000, and was disbarred from practicing law.
For the Kavanaugh Confirmation scandal, let’s objectively say that three scenarios exist:
1) The assault did happen; Ford is telling the truth; Kavanaugh did it, and he is perjuring himself.
2) The assault did happen and Ford is mistakenly accusing Kavanaugh when someone else did it.
3) The assault never happened and Ford is committing a crime by purposefully and falsely accusing an innocent man.
How do we navigate justice in the USA? Evidence, the U.S. Constitution, and our values. While values fluctuate person-to-person, the constitution and evidence should not.
The Hole We Are In:
Americans have watched for weeks as U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh was slammed with questions concerning his track record as a jurist in District of Columbia’s Court of Appeals, the judicial stepping stone for legal cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is now being considered for lifelong appointment. Then suddenly just before a confirmation vote that would have confirmed him to the Supreme Court, an anonymous accusation leaked from Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office of sexual assault and attempted rape when he was about 17 and the accuser was about 15. It's noteworthy that some of Brett Kavanaugh's decisions as part of the DC courts are the bane of Sen. Feinstein's gun control agenda. The senator held onto this accusation for months and never voiced it during open or closed door sessions, for which it seems this accusation was a desperate act by Democrats to derail the confirmation into the 2018 November elections for which Sen. Feinstein should be ashamed and punished by the Senate.
The date, time, and place of the near 3-decade old alleged assault is foggy according to the accuser. Now we know the identity of the accuser, Dr. Ford, and she is set to testify to the Senate. Is she bringing forth new evidence? No. Is Kavanaugh? No, as he now has the impossible task of proving something did not happen. What’s more, Dr. Ford is dictating terms to the Senate of her testimony and they are exceeding her demands. All of the four witnesses Dr. Ford put forth have denied any knowledge of the incident. So now We The People are left with the troubling issue of ‘what now?’ Do we give into mob rule or follow through on core American beliefs that every American is entitled to their constitutional rights:
> You have the right to remain silent in your own defense— Kavanaugh is being asked to prove that the incident didn’t exist when no one knows the date, time, and place, which is an impossible task.
> You are innocent until the government proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt— and yet not only has their been no sufficient evidence, Kavanaugh has not actually been charged with any crime!
> You have the right to face your accuser— in this case the accuser is requiring the Kavanaugh “go first”— what can he answer other than flatly denying the incident ever occurred? Why go first, when he’s ultimately going to have to rebut the accusations after?
> You have the right to a fair and speedy trial— but this also implies that you have the right to a trial and Kavanaugh is being judged and punished outside of a court that has any jurisdiction in a criminal matter. The Senate does not investigate, try, or punish crimes. In this case, that would be up to the local police to investigate and for the local attorney general of whatever locale the incident took place inside Maryland.
The accuser said a crime happened and the accused denies it. Is this the basis for denying someone a seat on the Supreme Court? And now we have a second accuser with an equally dubious and unverifiable story released, admittedly uncorroborated from the New Yorker.
Does anyone think that after both Kavanaugh and Ford’s testimony, this will no longer be a he-said-she-said? Without new evidence, this will still fall in the court of public opinion and zero progress will be made discerning the truth. Even if Kavanaugh is refused the confirmation based on two completely uncorroborated accusations, is any judge likely to ever be confirmed in the United States in the future? If any uncorroborated accusation becomes the basis for refusing a Judge’s appointment then no one in a hyper partisan environment will ever be confirmed. On top of this, Democrats are threatening impeachment should Kavanaugh be confirmed solely on the basis of one, and now two, accusations which have zero corroborating evidence other than the accuser’s words of certainty despite the fogginess of not remembering title, date, or place.
What’s more, if an accusation alone meets the threshold for barring someone a promotion to the Supreme Court, should Judge Kavanaugh be allowed to keep his job on the lower court? This question has not been posed to any politician.
This is a mockery of the American justice system. Our personal biases have gone too far.
Ford is bringing this to the Senate and not Maryland Law Enforcement because the statute of limitations on criminal and civil recourse has expired. The question is now of Kavanaugh’s character and we have one woman, and even possibly a second, accusing him of sexual assault.
There is a right way and a wrong way to seek justice in the United States. This trial— when in reality it is a hearing— has become such a sham, such a kangaroo court, that it seems necessary to remind many Americans how justice is done properly in the USA:
As a Law Enforcement Officer for 29 years, it was my job often to show up after someone called 9–1-1 and once on the scene we would have to control the situation and make it safe for EMS, fire, investigators, etc which we did by making any arrests or detentions that were necessary. Then we facilitated the gathering of evidence, often by marking physical evidence and taking witness statements and recording who was present. Investigators would gather the evidence and help the district attorney’s office build a case for a criminal prosecution or of civil record. But by the Constitution of the United States, we do not press charges, prosecute, and punish a suspect unless the evidence supports an evidentiary standard, most often, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By the constitution, defendants have a right to face their accuser have a certain evidentiary standard and people That record could then be used for civil prosecutions and FBI criminal history background checks, which we typically refer to as a “background check” but all background checks are not the same.
Democrats could not craft a persuasive argument against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Initially their arguments were:
They didn’t have all the documents to make an educated confirmation because they were sealed during his time with President George W. Bush. Then they got the documents and there was nothing in them to bar Judge Kavanaugh, so they moved on...
Assault Weapons Ban and the 2nd Amendment - Sen. Feinstein herself was frustrated by Judge Kavanaugh’s thoughtful explanation of the landmark Heller decision and she seemed most frustrated to learn that semi-automatic firearms, with millions in public ownership and circulation, were not uniquely dangerous and therefore were under the protection of the Second Amendment for which she couldn’t rebound her argument. Next...
Roe V. Wade - The Democrats attempted to paint Kavanaugh as someone who was going to ban abortions nationwide. He simply stated in one released email that, ‘not all legal scholars consider Roe V. Wade settled law.’
When the Democrats’ efforts to persuade failed, the accusation letter sent into Sen. Feinstein’s office was leaked. At first they called for the FBI to investigate the matter. But again, the accuser didn’t remember a date, time, or place, and there was no further evidence to be collected. Furthermore, they had no jurisdiction as it would have been a local Maryland matter. Furthermore, if Kavanaugh was 17 at the time— and even if the alleged crime was prosecuted by the local district attorney— the crime may or may not have been sealed by a Judge, as Kavanaugh would have been a minor at the time of the alleged incident.
When I testified against President Clinton in the 1990’s for his crimes, my beliefs were never a matter of the trial, nor was anyone in the court of public opinion, but what did matter was evidence. I provided my testimony about what I knew firsthand only and the prosecutor recorded that testimony and built their case based on the evidence. No matter your opinion on the Clinton scandals, no one can doubt that they got adequate legal counsel and representation and that they had their day in court. They maintained all of their rights as American citizens and they received their due process regarding impeachment under the Constitution. Brett Kavanaugh should likewise retain his constitutional rights and the Senate should respect them. They can either provide evidence towards his guilt, or presume his innocence.
Because in this country, we can all agree on the rights of our citizens, and we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty. Only two people presumably know the truth, but for the sake of us all we must hold fast to our values and make decisions based on a evidentiary threshold. Without evidence-based decision, our society will become a mob for which we will all be held victim.