Letters to the Editor

Senate confirmation hearings aren't a trial

The Brett Kavanaugh hearing is a job interview, not a trial. As such, the burden of proof is not “beyond all reasonable doubt,” as it is in a trial. We have a right, and in this case an obligation, to respond to credible allegations and deny someone a lifetime appointment of such importance.

Judge Kavanaugh himself previously has argued that lie detector tests are admissible and compelling evidence; the fact that Dr. Ford passed a lie-detector test should be grounds enough to disqualify Kavanaugh, and her testimony was far more believable than Kavanaugh’s vitriol-filled lecture.

What we saw in Kavanaugh’s response was a partisan, conservative, angry white male who has always been entitled and now feels entitled to be on the Supreme Court. He’s not. Especially when there are so many other qualified candidates in the wings. After this is over, despite his passionate arguments to the contrary, his life will go on just fine, unlike Ford, who has had to endure this pain throughout her life.

You may never be convinced “beyond all reasonable doubt.” But these allegations are reliable enough that the Senate absolutely should move on to another candidate. Some will say that at this point any candidate inevitably will face such accusations, but remember that Neil Gorsuch recently went through this process without any such charges.

If nothing else, now is the perfect opportunity to deliver an essential and long-overdue message to women: Your stories matter, and we’re listening.

Glenn Freeman

Mount Vernon

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