As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing a new round of allegations involving sexual assault, gang rapes and drunken parties, commentators have taken to the internet to voice their thoughts on the newest developments in the quest to confirm the 53-year-old judge.
After last week’s news cycle was dominated by the allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school in the 1980s, two new accusations emerged on Sunday and Monday just days before Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her experiences.
A second woman named Deborah Ramirez claimed in an interview with The New Yorker on Sunday that Kavanaugh forced her to touch his genitals while attending a party during the 1983-1984 school year at Yale University in Connecticut.
Additionally, attorney Michael Avenatti of Stormy Daniels fame tweeted on Monday that he has knowledge that Kavanaugh and his high school friend Mark Judge were involved in targeting women with drugs and alcohol in order to “allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang-rape them” during Washington, D.C. house parties in the 1980s.
Avenatti told the Senate Judiciary Committee that there are “multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts” and argued that they each must be allowed to testify.
Kavanaugh has subsequently denied the new allegations, saying “these are smears, plain and simple.”
In the following pages are five reactions to the new accusations facing Kavanaugh.
1. Mollie Hemingway
Mollie Hemingway, a conservative pundit and senior editor for The Federalist, wrote an op-ed on Monday titled “The Smearing of Brett Kavanaugh Is Truly Evil.”
“Maybe 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 is part of an elaborate plot to get away with it. Anything is possible,” she wrote. “But the idea that the country should convict him and destroy his life with no evidence other than recovered and uncorroborated memories and creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti’s say-so is quite insane.”
Hemingway stated that it was “easily predictable” that the media and “other resistance members” would come forward with additional claims against Kavanaugh that she says are “even less substantiated than the initial one.”
“This 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,” she wrote.
Hemingway wrote that there are rules for evidence in American courtrooms 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,” Hemingway stressed. “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 should be.”
Hemingway points out that Kavanaugh isn’t facing a criminal prosecution 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,” she added. “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.”
Hemingway was also critical of the mainstream media, claiming that liberal journalists are acting more like “partisan activists instead of truth tellers.”
“The New Yorker’s laughably disreputable Jane Mayer and 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,” Hemingway wrote. “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 and was 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.”
2. Mat Staver
Mat Staver, chairman of the conservative legal group The Liberty Counsel, issued a statement responding to the new claims against Kavanaugh in a press release sent out by the legal group on Monday.
Staver, who is known for representing high profile clients such as Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, stated that the accusations against Kavanaugh are a “charade” that is part of “the ‘resistance’ movement.”
Staver said that movement is “motivated by two things — resistance to President Trump and fear that Judge Kavanaugh will interpret the law, not make it.”
“The resistance arises from those devoted to and blinded by abortion,” Staver said, referencing liberal fears that Kavanaugh’s appointment to the court could tip the scales and put the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade in danger. “This resistance movement is aligned with a political party and is perfectly happy to destroy anyone who dares not walk to their drum beat.”
3. Denny Burk
Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote a blog post Monday titled “Does guilt or innocence even matter anymore?”
In the post, Burk responds to an argument laid out by New York Times pundit Ross Douthat. Douthat argued that even if Kavanaugh is innocent, giving such prominence and power to a man who is “credibly accused” would “leave an unnecessary taint on his future rulings” and “alienate social conservatives from the persuadable Americans.”
“Yesterday I read a column by Ross Douthat that is perplexing,” Burk wrote. “If I’m being truthful, it’s worse than perplexing. It is an absolute disappointment. Douthat makes the case that it doesn’t really matter whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent of the allegations against him. Even if Kavanaugh is innocent, he has been tainted by accusations made against him and on those grounds alone could be unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Burk continued by arguing that “this is the worst argument I believe I have ever read from Douthat.”
“How can it not matter whether Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent?” Burk questioned. “It seems to me that his guilt or innocence is the most important question to be answered in assessing his nomination. And yet, Douthat says that even if he is innocent, Kavanaugh’s nomination might very well deserve to fail. It’s an incredible claim.”
Burk added that he has no “special insight” on the merits of the allegations against Kavanaugh.
“Like everyone else, I will watch and see where the evidence points. If the evidence shows that Kavanaugh is guilty, then that indeed would be discrediting,” Burk said. “But if the evidence does not demonstrate that he is guilty, it would be a great injustice to pretend that it does.”
Burk concluded that “this is one the darkest, most cynical moments” he has ever witnessed in American politics.
“And it is only made worse by those who would argue that guilt or innocence is irrelevant in our moral and political judgments,” Burk stressed. “Perhaps they are irrelevant to some people, but that is no excuse for the good guys to surrender to such cynicism. We can do better than that. We must do better than that.”
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Source: Christian Post