A Perilous Presumption

Last night, I watched the Senate vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. The one-by-one voice vote had to be interrupted numerous times because of shouting protesters in the Senate gallery. It was an embarrassing scene which never should have been allowed to happen. Many more protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court and elsewhere in D.C. chanting slogans and holding placards proclaiming “I Believe All Survivors” and other variations on the theme of believing Christine Ford, Anita Hill, and females in general.

We heard this position—that women who come forward with stories of sexual assault should automatically be believed—throughout the bitter confirmation hearing. Liberals unapologetically assert that in a she said-he said scenario, there should be a presumption in favor of the woman. In an extreme program of feminist affirmative action, they want men to bear the burden of proof that whatever incident is alleged didn’t happen.

Listen, evaluate credibility, draw a reasoned, case-specific conclusion—that approach requires too much moral and intellectual honesty for the left to handle.

Though I haven’t seen calls (yet) to dismantle the presumption of innocence in sexual assault prosecutions, the explosion of high-profile men falling from grace in the entertainment world has shown that a trial in the media and the court of public opinion is all it takes for an accused’s fate to be sealed. If innocent men lose their good name, career, and dignity because they can’t prove their innocence against false allegations—and sometimes even if they can—so be it, so-called progressives are saying. Collateral damage in a righteous battle.

This naive and dangerous mentality has the potential to damage the lives of far more women than any Supreme Court decisions in which now-Justice Kavanaugh will participate. The lives of the mothers, wives, and daughters of men who are wrongfully accused of sexual harassment or assault will forever be shattered by the consequences.

About the Author
Ziona Greenwald feels grateful to be living with her husband and children in Jerusalem, where she is a freelance writer and editor. She holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School, and worked both in publishing and in the court system back in New York, when Aliyah was still a dream to be realized.
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