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Reader Opinion: An alarming confirmation

As a former criminal defense lawyer, I'm deeply alarmed by confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice.

Courts long ago rejected any requirement that allegations of criminal sexual conduct be corroborated in order to convict beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard of proof. The Senate majority's insistence on "corroboration" was a perversion of democratic process, an insult to the law, an offense to women victims and to the intelligence and capability of women everywhere, and is a misbegotten retreat to long since rejected 1950s treatment of women.

Convictions using proof beyond a reasonable doubt frequently are based solely on an accuser's evidence because of the nature of such offenses, characterized by male selected, secluded locations, male incentives to lie to avoid consequences, and well accepted capabilities of women to know, remember and relate facts.

Trial judges must tell a jury that the jury should consider witness ability to know, remember and relate facts, and witness demeanor in testifying. Dr. Ford's extremely temperate, articulate testimony was replete with detail of place and the essential acts and actors, non-evasively provided by her, the most professional of witnesses.

In the presence of committee Republicans, Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated frighteningly intemperate, often incoherent behaviors, precisely when a demonstration of judicial temperament was most called for, itself disqualifying him, his shouted testimony forever etched in history: "I like my beer, I like my beer" and histrionic conjuring of "Clinton conspiracies" against him and the president who nominated him.

The Supreme Court was grievously wounded by the gross behaviors of the president's divisive rant imitator. The Senate majority lacked a national conscience, then grievously wounded blind justice and democracy in pursuit of naked power, confirming a profoundly unqualified nominee and the proverb that "power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

John Erickson

Brainerd