The Kavanaugh accusation and a miscarriage of justice

Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist looks beyond the headlines of the sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Much of the media coverage has focused on how this is good for or Democrats and bad for Republicans. While that’s interesting, if debateable, it’s far more important to discuss whether this is good for the republic itself.

Feinstein has not been asked to explain why she sat on the claim for six weeks, hiding it until after the hearings concluded. She had an opportunity to ask Kavanaugh to address the matter privately, or in public. She could have shared the information with the committee at any point so that they could begin to gather information. Instead, she hid it until she sent it to the FBI with identifying details redacted.

But even if she had handled the situation properly, and not as a political cudgel, the Senate is still an inappropriate place to litigate claims of sexual assault. Since Maryland apparently doesn’t have a statute of limitations on felony sex assault, charges could still be filed there if the case is strong enough to do so.

While the media and other Democratic institutions are currently disdainful of due process for sex assault claims, in America, we don’t say that murky allegations are the same as guilty convictions. We don’t even say that clear allegations are the same as guilty convictions. People have a constitutional right to face their accuser, and cases must be proven beyond the partisan court of punditry. If Kavanaugh, a husband and father of young girls, is an attempted rapist, the appropriate place to make that case is in a courtroom.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...