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As We Wait For The Kavanaugh Senate Hearing To Begin

September 27, 2018

Will this be one of those days we will look back on and recall what we were doing at the time the Senate Judiciary Hearing was taking testimony about the allegations of sexual acts and binge drinking of a Supreme Court nominee?  Will this be a day that registers in the minds of citizens decades removed?

And how will we get from the point of a person making a statement before the committee to the process of those millions watching across our land coming to some kind of conclusion as to who tells the truth?  Minus concrete evidence how does a nation come to a consensus on what happened over 30 years ago, and what needs to happen now?

Or will everything be as muddy and determined by tribalism coming out of the hearing as going in?

But there are standards of proof inherited from the justice system — preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt. And a debate has unfolded, alongside the contest over the allegations themselves, about the suitability of these principles, and about who has the burden to prove what. In a hyperpartisan climate, views tend to split according to preexisting positions on the nominee.

“I make this distinction because I doubt very much we’ll come out of Thursday with sufficient clarity to meet any of the standards of proof for civil or criminal litigation,” Leviss added. “If that’s the goal Chairman [Charles E.] Grassley sets forth, that will be difficult.”

The distinction goes to the heart of what separates starkly different schools of thought about how Thursday’s hearing should be framed. One way of understanding the hearing is as “similar to a proceeding in the criminal justice system” said Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University. The other is that it’s like “a job interview.”

The difference matters because a criminal proceeding would place the burden of proof on the accuser, “maybe even having to prove her claims beyond a reasonable doubt,” Somin said, while a job interview would obligate Kavanaugh to prove himself unsullied.

2 Comments
  1. Mark Phillips permalink
    September 27, 2018 12:38 PM

    I an tell you where I was when JFK was shot. I can tell you where I was the day the Packers won the first Super Bowl, I can tell you where I was when man walked on the moon.I can tell you where I was when Challenger exploded, I can tell you where I was on 9/11. Todays event in DC does not compare nor even come close to a “I remember where” moment.

  2. Solly permalink
    September 27, 2018 12:25 PM

    I’m enjoying watching the Faux News analysts during the breaks. They are appalled at the clumsiness of having the woman prosecutor being interrupted in her questioning after 5 minutes. Ya think!? “it’s interrupting her flow.” Gee, I wonder who came up with this idea? The Repugnants look like a bunch of wusses who are afraid of a woman. Except for Grandpa Grassley who I expect to holler get off my lawn! at any minute. And old Donnie Jr. chimed in picking at her answers. Can’t wait for your testimony in January Donnie if the Dems take over. He inherited his Dad’s inability to STFU and not make things worse.

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