The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Demands the “Ford Team” Has Made Are Ludicrous

Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 5, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Per Shannon Bream, here are the requests that Kavanaugh’s accuser has made:

The answer to these demands is, clearly, “No.” The Senate is not a courtroom. But we have strong reasons for requiring that accused people are “confronted with the witnesses against” them, and those reasons transcend narrow constitutional obligation. Yes, the Senate can hold a hearing in which the witnesses never lock eyes. No, it would not be good practice.

We also have good reasons for ensuring that accusers testify first. And yet, per Bream, Ford’s “team” insists that “Kavanaugh must testify FIRST.” Which raises the obvious question: Testify against what exactly? A half-leaked letter? A piece in the Washington Post? The ever-churning rumor mill? How utterly preposterous it would be to hold a hearing in which the accused is expected to refute allegations that have not yet been made under oath, and then to watch in silence as the accuser responds to his “refutation.” How far down the rabbit hole must we go to sustain this charade?

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