Anyone who’s been watching the news recently will probably be aware about a new supreme court justice. Brett Kavanaugh. This particular justice is slightly different to the others. Why?
He has been accused of rape! This has lead to a media storm that has created another Twitter war.
Some people were saying to believe Dr Ford, to stand with her, and that Kavanaugh should not allowed on the supreme court. Others rushed to his defence, saying there was no evidence that he ever committed such an act.
The issue is, that we don’t know who’s right. Everyone seems to think that the person they like the most is the one who’s telling the truth, but the reality is, that’s not necessity the case.
There are a large amount of people who dislike Kavanaugh for whatever reason. Perhaps they hate all Republicans. Or perhaps they hate his strong pro-life stance. Or perhaps they hate the fact that Trump likes him.
Kavanaugh has been a very outspoken critic of abortion, which has lead many to say that he is infringing on women’s reproductive rights.
However, even if you hate his guts, it’s not fair to use this as a basis for your argument as to why he shouldn’t be appointed.
But, there are two sides to this coin.
Whilst it’s wrong for people to be so driven by hatred that it clouds their rationality. The exact same thing can be said for love.
There are those who strongly admire this man. He has been a judge for a long time, and has an impressive résumé. Many of his fans also agree with his pessimistic attitude towards abortion. Whilst it’s okay to like Brett, it’s necessary that you don’t base your view of his innocence on whether or not you agree with his politics.
One of the core principles of western judiciary’s is that one is innocent until they are proven to be guilty. This is the only way to ensure that innocent people are not punished.
Due to the fact that there is as much evidence on Kavanaugh’s side as there is on Ford’s, we need to be respectful. Referring to a woman who has been raped as a liar or a fraud, just because her rapist is someone you agree with politically is just straight up rude. Until we’re absolutely sure that she’s a liar, she needs to treated with compassion and respect.
One of the great things about living in a western democracy is that when you’re accused of a crime, instead of going straight to jail, you have to go through a process of going to court where evidence is shown and testimonials are given as to whether or not you committed the crime.
This process is called due process and it’s purpose is to ensure that innocent people do not get convicted. Due process is written into the US constitution in article 5 and 14. And as a US citizen, Brett Kavanaugh is entitled to it. Therefore, we cannot accuse him of being a rapist without the proper procedures having taken place.
A common, but completely, nonsensical criticism of Dr Ford is that because she cannot remember specific details (such as time) that shows that she has made the whole thing up. I shouldn’t have to explain why this criticism is invalid but here we go.
Our memories are not that good in the first place. Most people forget most details of most events in our life. When you add to that the trauma of getting raped, it’s understandable that certain specifics would be forgotten.
However nor should we rush to the opposite extreme. Surely we can’t lead ourselves to being so blindly supportive of women that we end up believing literally anything they say? That could lead to a society where men are arrested for crimes they didn’t commit simply because a woman has decided that they want them to be behind bars. This may sound extreme, but it has happened!
In essence, this is a very difficult situation to overcome. On one hand, we don’t want a rapist on the supreme court of America. But then on the other hand, it’s not confirmed that he’s a rapist, and you cannot punish somebody without due process.
For now, it’s probably okay to keep him as the principle of innocent until proven guilty is a vital pillar of our legal system. However, if a shred of evidence arises that he is not innocent, the president needs to be prepared to fire him on the spot!