The Impossibility of Disproving an Accusation
Ignore the politics of the Kavanaugh case.
Ignore the fact that the Dem opposition decided to go with sexual assault accusations because they fit nicely with their larger message targeting a Trump nominee as a threat to feminism and abortion rights.
What we’re really seeing is the impossibility of proving or disproving an accusation when there’s no physical evidence. Add on decades to it and the impossibility becomes nearly total. Add on a well-funded system for making the accusation and it becomes devastating.
This is a problem that goes beyond Brett Kavanaugh and the political battle around him. It pervades the culture of the #MeToo movement, of campus kangaroo courts and the rest of the infrastructure of #BelieveAllWomen.
The impossibility of proving or disproving such accusations has led to an insistence that the burden of proof (for the sake of fairness) must be shifted from the accuser to the accused. Kavanaugh, like so many others, must prove he didn’t do anything wrong.
And, the only way to do that is for the accuser to name a date and place where the accused couldn’t have been, or for the accused to have always been accompanied by witnesses through that date and in that place.
Neither of those is a fair and reasonable expectation.
Add on vagueness about name and place, and it becomes all but impossible for the accused to prove his innocence.
Shifting the burden of proof isn’t just contrary to American principles of fairness and law. Though it is. Guilty until proven innocent was the first judicial abuse that our system tossed back to Europe. And left it there.
It’s fundamentally destructive to any system.
If it’s easier to be proven guilty than innocent, then everyone has to live in senseless fear of an omnipresent police state. One which can demand an investigation of a 53-year-old man’s high school drinking. When there are no standards of proof, everyone is assumed to be guilty, and the reach and range of investigations have no possible limit.