Senate Democrats Presume Kavanaugh Guilty Until Proven Innocent

September 26, 2018

Senate Democrats have outright presumed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh guilty until proven innocent of allegations of sexual misconduct, suggesting he lacks credibility because of his originalist views, he bears the burden of disproving charges against him and his lack of desire to have an FBI investigation implies guilt.

A pair of sexual misconduct allegations emerged against Kavanaugh this month following his confirmation hearings, neither of which has been corroborated by any direct evidence. One woman, Christine Blasey Ford, accuses him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her at a party when they were high-schoolers in the early 1980s, although she is not sure of the time or place.

Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, took six days of "assessing her memories" after being approached by the New Yorker and then said she was sure Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a dorm party at Yale.

While Kavanaugh has denied both charges, Democrats, who have made no secret of their desire to stop his confirmation, have made stunning remarks about his presumed guilt and thus his unsuitability to reach the Supreme Court.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said, "There are plenty of reasons to disbelieve Judge Kavanaugh, after his evasive and seemingly misleading testimony."

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) told CNN that Kavanaugh's approach to jurisprudence colored her view of his innocence, saying his "ideological agenda" undermined his credibility.

"I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases. As I said, his credibility is already very questionable in my mind and in the minds of a lot of my fellow Judiciary Committee members, the Democrats," Hirono said. "When I say that he is very outcome driven, he has an ideological agenda, very outcome driven, and I could sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his ability to be fair."

She doubled down when challenged about the remarks on MSNBC.

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

In that same vein, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) grew impatient with a reporter's question on Tuesday and said this was not a criminal proceeding, adding there was "no presumption of innocence or guilt."

Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) went as far on MSNBC on Monday to say that the burden was on Kavanaugh to disprove the allegations made against him.

"It is Judge Kavanaugh who is seeking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, and who I think now bears the burden of disproving these allegations, rather than Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez who should be dismissed with slanderous accusations," Coons said.

Nearly shouting at a press conference on Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) declared Kavanaugh not desiring a separate FBI investigation was not the "reaction of an innocent person."

"Someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate their claims," she said. "Who is not asking the FBI to investigate these claims? The White House. Judge Kavanaugh has not asked to have the FBI review these claims. Is that the reaction of an innocent person? It is not."

Hirono invoked similar logic on CNN Tuesday, saying if Kavanaugh was innocent, he would want an FBI investigation. The FBI has conducted multiple background checks into Kavanaugh over the years; he's spent the past 12 years as a D.C. Circuit Judge.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) dismissed Kavanaugh's denial on CNN, stating, "I've heard many, many predators refute allegations against them."