FLASHBACK: Democrats Said Kavanaugh Was Undergoing 'Job Interview,' Didn't Deserve Presumption of Innocence

May 4, 2020

When Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault in 2018, many Democrats said he was undergoing a "job interview" to explain why he did not deserve a presumption of innocence.

The talking point is worth revisiting as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden seeks the nation's highest office while denying a sexual assault charge made by former Senate aide Tara Reade.

Prominent Democrats now supporting Biden, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), suggested Kavanaugh was disqualified from joining the Supreme Court by the mere appearance of guilt.

"It's a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh," Feinstein said during the hearing in which Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford testified. "Is Brett Kavanaugh who we want on the most prestigious court in our country? Is he the best we can do?"

"People keep talking about presumption of innocence. That is a term one uses in a criminal proceeding," Hirono said on CNN's New Day. "This is a hearing to determine whether or not Judge Kavanaugh has the credibility and character to serve on the Supreme Court. It is a job interview."

"Of course he has a right to defend himself, but this isn't a criminal trial," Klobuchar said on CBS's Face the Nation. "This is a job hearing for the highest court in the land."

"This is about whether he has the privilege to serve on the highest court of the land for a lifetime," Gillibrand said in a Senate floor speech. "This is not a court of law. This is a job interview."

"It's not about a condemnation or a criminal trial about Kavanaugh's guilt or innocence. This is a job interview," Booker said on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.

"No one is entitled to a seat on the Supreme Court. It's not a criminal trial," Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) said on NBC's Meet the Press. "It's more like a job hearing. It's more like a job interview."

"It's a job interview. It's not a court of law," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) said on Fox News's Outnumbered Overtime.

Biden has also called the process a "job interview" where guilt did not need to be proven to stop a confirmation.

"[A] Supreme Court hearing is not a trial," he said last year on ABC's The View. "It's a job interview. It's a job interview, and you don't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anything as to why you shouldn't put so-and-so on the Court."

Many Democrats, including Biden, have abandoned their former mantra of believing all women who make sexual misconduct allegations, saying instead that they should have their claims taken seriously and investigated.