I have been wrestling with my feelings about the Kavanaugh accusations this week.
On the one hand, I am a proud supporter of the #MeToo movement and believe that women who are the victims of sexual assault face a terrifying culture of skepticism and victim blaming. The change in attitudes we have started to see in terms of taking victim’s seriously and not tolerating the kind of harassment and abuse that has been commonplace for so long is encouraging.
On the other hand, I am a criminal defense attorney. I am a trained professional skeptic. I know firsthand that people DO make false allegations and the damage those allegations can cause. I also know that sometimes two people can experience the same exact event and view it very differently. As a result, I am not a fan of naked allegations being given undue weight.
So how do I resolve this in the context of the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh? With common sense. Like it or not, it is undeniable that these accusations have a political context and that both sides are seeking jockeying for political position rather than seeking to do the “right” thing.
The “right” thing when someone makes these kinds of serious allegations is to investigate them. Fully and fairly. Anyone who is jumping out to a position of “believing” Ford or Kavanaugh is doing so without enough information. While the Democrats calls for a delay to fully investigate are most certainly politically motivated, they are also rational and right in insisting that such allegations be taken seriously and addressed before Kavanaugh is given a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. The Republicans insistence on rushing the process through is also politically motivated, but they have no moral high ground on which to stand.
I do not know if Kavanaugh’s accusers are telling the truth. Maybe they are, maybe they are not, maybe there’s more to it and the truth lies somewhere in between. I do know that, as an American, I want to know what that truth is before any vote takes place on confirmation.
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