19 September 2018

Ford-Kavanaugh: Justice Denied (For Everyone)

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Let us be clear on one point about Christine Blasey-Ford's accusation: she is accusing Judge Kavanaugh of a crime. The letter she wrote to Senator Diane Feinstein in July of this year is crystal clear on that:
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980's.
Let us also be clear on one other point about Ms. Ford's accusation. The crime is the only thing which is clearly articulated.  She names Judge Kavanaugh as her assailant, she names Mark Judge as a witness to the assault, and she provides no other specifics whatsoever. She does not specify either time or place, nor does she provide even a hint of contemporaneous corroboration. Quite the contrary, she admits in subsequent interviews that she told no one until some thirty years after the fact, during a therapy session with her husband.

As I noted in my previous post, the credibility of the accusation may be summarized thus:
There are no recitations of events to friends at the time.

There is no police report.

There is no complaint made against Judge Kavanaugh either at his school or anywhere else.

There is no proffered diary entry from Ms. Ford's teenage years.
There is no evidence.
There is no corroboration.
However, credible or not, there is an accusation. Where there is an accuser and an accused, there are rights, and there are due process.  The accuser has the unequivocal right to seek redress of grievance (and there is no denying that actual or attempted sexual assault is a significant grievance), and the accused has the unequivocal right to defend himself. Through the rights enshrined within the First and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, our notion of due process, of justice for both accuser and accused, are defined.

Those rights will not be respected in this instance. Christine Blasey-Ford will not be given her First Amendment right to petition for redress of grievance, and Judge Kavanaugh will not be given his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser and rebut her claims. Whatever outcome there may yet be in this saga, a due process that respects the rights of accuser and accused will not happen.

Consider the date of Ms. Ford's original letter to Senator Feinstein:  July 30, 2018. From that date until mid-September, Senator Feinstein was unarguably in possession of this accusation, this clear and unequivocal accusation of crime, and did exactly nothing. She did not pass it along to the FBI for its background check of Judge Kavanaugh. She did not bring it to the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She did not question Judge Kavanaugh about it, not in the written questions posed to Judge Kavanaugh, not in private meeting with Judge Kavanaugh, and not in his public testimony before the committee.

Only after the public hearings had concluded did Senator Feinstein leak the existence of the letter to the media. 

Senator Feinstein cannot, of herself, provide any redress of grievance to Ms. Ford. She cannot dispense justice. She cannot call Judge Kavanaugh to account, except to confront him through the process of his confirmation to the Supreme Court, which she pointedly declined to do.

Even after the accusation became public, and the Judiciary Committee began grappling with the reality of it, Senator Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats on the Committee declined to participate in any process that would allow either Ms. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh to make their respective cases. Senate Democrats pointedly refused to participate in a staff phone call interview with Judge Kavanaugh to discuss the accusation, claiming a need for a full investigation by the FBI--conveniently ignoring the jurisidictional reality that a sexual assault in Maryland would be investigated by either the Maryland State Police or, more likely, the local police department (although with location of the assault unclear, local jurisdiction would be difficult to determine).

From the end of July straight up until now, the Senate Democrats have sought not a full and fair hearing, an open process by which both accuser and accused might receive the justice that is their Constitutional due, but delay, obfuscation, and dissemblage.

Whether Ms. Ford's accusation is credible and deserving of a hearing is no longer relevant. Whether Judge Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent is no longer relevant. These questions are no longer relevant because the Democrats, in pursuit of pure partisan political advantage for the upcoming mid-term elections, have sought to obstruct any and all process by which this matter might be aired, and the truth gainfully sought. Senator Feinstein, her fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, and indeed every Democrat serving within the Senate, have conspired to obstruct justice. Their actions and inactions in this matter, from the end of July up to now, admit of no other interpretations.

There will be no justice done in the admittedly spectral case of Ford vs. Kavanaugh. The Democrats have made sure of that.

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