Dem. Senator: Kavanaugh Doesn't Deserve 'Presumption of Innocence' Because I Disagree With Him
On Sunday, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) declared that Donald Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, does not deserve the presumption of innocence when it comes to sexual assault allegations against him — because she disagrees with his judicial philosophy. Indeed, Hirono seemed to suggest that the very principle of "innocent until proven guilty" should not apply in sexual assault cases.
CNN's Jake Tapper asked Hirono, "Doesn't Kavanaugh have the same presumption of innocence as anyone else in America?"
According to the 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution — and as is clearly laid out in the case Coffin v. United States (1895) — the answer should be an unqualified "yes." Every person, no matter how heinous his or her crimes, deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But Hirono did not say, "Yes."
"I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases," the senator said, suggesting that the presumption of innocence — a core tenet of English common law and American law going back more than one hundred years — depends on a person's judicial philosophy.
"As I said, his credibility is already very questionable in my mind and in the minds of ... my fellow Judiciary Committee members — the Democrats," Hirono explained. "When I say that he's very outcome-driven, he has an ideological agenda. His — in my view — inability to be fair in the cases that are coming before him."
Then, as if to clarify exactly why Kavanaugh's judicial heresy means he should not be presumed innocent until proven guilty, she added that "he very much is against women's reproductive choice," a euphemism for abortion.
Tapper understood exactly what she said.
"It sounds to me like you’re saying because you don’t trust him on policy and because you don’t believe him when he says for instance that he does not have an opinion on Roe v. Wade, you don’t believe him about this allegation about what happened at this party in 1982. Is that fair?" Tapper asked.
Again, Hirono did not reply, "Yes." She did, however, harp on the fact that the FBI will not conduct an "independent investigation." [Instead, the Senate Judiciary Committee has undertaken an investigation, in which false testimony provided to the committee will be punished with a felony. Democrats have refused to join this ongoing investigation on the premise that it is biased. Rather than help ensure there is no bias, they have taken to the media circuit to complain nonstop.]
Indeed, while complaining about the lack of an "independent investigation," Hirono took Christine Blasey Ford at her word, stating that Mark Judge — Kavanaugh's accused accomplice — "was right there in that room."