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Is Susan Collins a gullible fool?

She’d be a lousy juror.

When Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, she said she believed “someone” had assaulted Christine Blasey Ford “at some point,” but contended Ford’s allegations failed “to meet the ‘more likely than not'” standard of proof (used in civil trials), and “voting against Kavanaugh without witnesses or proof could start a ‘dangerous’ precedent.”

(Quotes are of a USA Today article, not of Collins; source here.)

This was, of course, contradictory on its face, because Ford was a witness testifying under oath, and you can’t say you believe Ford and then say there were no witnesses or proof. In a court of law, a juror is entitled to disbelieve a witness, but that person is still a witness and her testimony is still evidence. True, the Senate isn’t a court, and Collins isn’t a lawyer, but still this is pretty basic stuff.

If you’re on a jury, the last thing you want to do is convict an innocent person, and everyone will agree on this, but what’s often overlooked is the second-last thing you want to do is free a guilty person. Weighing evidence that will decide a person’s fate is a heavy responsibility that no one should take lightly or want to screw up.

In our criminal courts, it’s better to err on the side of acquittal; but serving on the Supreme Court is a privilege, not an issue of a nominee’s personal liberty, and there any reasonable doubt should be resolved in favor of the public interest, not the nominee — another distinction that apparently was lost on Collins when she provided one of the deciding votes that put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. (He was confirmed 50-48. It would have taken a 2-vote switch to keep him off the court.)

On Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, Kavanaugh exploded into the headlines again, and it now looks like Collins may have been a gullible fool, depending on who you’ll believe this time around.

He’s back in the headlines because of new allegations of sexual misconduct against him, relating back to the same time period, which immediately prompted several prominent Democrats to call for impeaching him. (Impeachment would be based on perjury, i.e., lying under oath during his confirmation hearings, not on the conduct itself.)

If you want the details — you’ll be exposed to them in news stories in coming days, so I don’t really need to spell them out here — you can read about it here and here and here and here.

What are the odds that Kavanaugh is an innocent victim of a vicious partisan smear, and all these people are lying when they say bad things about him? Pretty slim, I’d say. And that means the odds are pretty strong that Kavanaugh lied in his confirmation hearings, which is an impeachable offense. And Collins, who’s already in trouble with Maine voters (especially women), increasingly looks like either a partisan hack or a gullible fool, or both.

Image: “Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings look worse by the day.” Photo and quote from Esquire article linked above.

 

 

 

 

 


5 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adans #
    1

    Senator Collins is not a juror, she is a Senator. Most Senator would be lousy jurors if they were agreeable to be a juror. In this respect sitting Senators are above the law. Assuming a sitting Senator or eve former Senator is a potential juror the trial judge may well eject them. And the Prosecutor or Defense attorney may depending on appeal strategy.

    Only during impeachment trials is a Senator a juror, sort of. The question here perhaps should be what would the Senator vote at such an event on Kavenaugh. As he is a justice unless removed from office by the Senate, and Collins could well be a Senator and would continue to be a Senator no matter the outcome in the clubby US Senate, So yes Senators are lousy jurors.

  2. Mark Adams #
    2

    Since becoming a Supreme Kavanaugh has been well behaved. No bribery. No treason, No High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    So well behaved, and the court cafeteria is sparkling.

  3. Mark Adams #
    3

    What RR leaves out here is that in general US Senators are all lousy potential jurors. That is if they would deign to serve, yes US Senators are above the law in this area. And most sitting trial judges would show most sitting and former US Senators the door as they don’t want the case appealed.

    It would be nice if Roger would remember some basics here. Jurors should not be concerned with letting a guilty person go. That is a cornerstone of American jurisprudence. One is assumed innocent until proven guilty. It is ok if a jury lets a guilty defendant go, as it would be horrible to find an innocent defendant guilty. The system is set up to protect the innocent, and in order for that to happen it is ok for the guilty to walk free among us. Otherwise we get the kind of courts prevalent in third world nations and in China.
    Fortunately Susan Collins is a US Senator and it is unlikely she will ever be a juror in her lifetime. And there is nothing wrong with lousy jurors, as there have been plenty of those. Unless you want a professional jury pool of judges like they have in Italy and other European nations.

  4. Roger Rabbit #
    4

    What you leave out here is that some senators have better judgment than others, generally breaking along party lines.

  5. Roger Rabbit #
    5

    In any case, you miss the point. Collins said there was no witness or proof against Kavanaugh. But that’s exactly what Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was. It’d be one thing to say she didn’t believe Ford, but Collins was too much of a weasel for that. Instead, she resorted to pretzel logic and ended up pretending Ford didn’t exist, because she didn’t have the guts to attack a female sexual assault victim. (Her GOP male colleagues had no such reticence.) And she plainly didn’t have the guts to buck her party. Faced with having to cast a no-win vote on a prickly issue, she took a coward’s way out, probably figuring it’s better to be hated by half the voters of her state than by all of them.



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