Hirono Doubles Down on Kavanaugh Not Having a Presumption of Innocence: ‘We Are Not in a Court’

September 24, 2018

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) on Monday reiterated her position that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not deserve a presumption of innocence.

On CNN Sunday, Hirono said she would not presume Kavanaugh's innocence in the face of sexual assault allegations because of his "ideological agenda," which she said was opposed to women’s rights. MSNBC host Hallie Jackson asked her if she wanted to clarify" that position, framing it as something conservatives have criticized to show Hirono's bias.

"In conservative circles, there is outrage at the comment—because this is a conservative judge, you have made your decision about him as it relates to the accusations. Can you clarify what you meant?" Jackson asked.

"Look, we are not in a court of law, we are in a court of credibility at this point," Hirono said.

A favorite of conservatives who hold to an originalist and textualist view of the law, Kavanaugh received vociferous opposition from progressive groups who lamented that he had a relatively clear path to confirmation from the Republican-held Senate. After the hearing concluded, Ford came forward with her accusation that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and attempted to force himself on her in high school, which so far has been denied by Kavanaugh and everyone else Ford alleged was at the scene.

Hirono argued that the Senate has done nothing to corroborate the story and called for the FBI to investigate, even though the Senate has gotten statements from people Ford alleges were at the party in question, and none of them have backed up her story.

"Without having the FBI report or some semblance of trying to get corroboration, we are left with the credibility of the two witnesses," Hirono added. "I said his credibility is already questionable in my mind."

She lambasted Kavanaugh's supporters for attempting to "railroad" him onto the court, and she said "women and all the enlightened men" in the country know this is a "set-up job."

Hirono also said Kavanaugh is suspect because he "doesn't even get the basics of the law," although he received a "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association.

Hirono also argued women are in an environment where they will not come forward. She called it "appalling and unacceptable" that the FBI is not investigating, despite the fact that the alleged crime occurred in the 1980s and is not under federal jurisdiction.