The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently launched a $1 million ad campaign opposing the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Their ads make the bold and unfair comparison of Kavanaugh to #MeToo culprits like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, showing pictures of Weinstein and Cosby followed by those of Kavanaugh. A narrator’s voice says, “We’ve seen this before—denials from powerful men.”
These shameful comparisons, along with the fear mongering rhetoric in the ad, make it clear: In the case of Kavanaugh, the ACLU has abandoned its mission as the “nation’s premier defender of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.”
The ACLU is supposed to fight to preserve civil liberties, due process, and the constitutional integrity of our institutions. But their decision to join in this #resistance fight against Kavanaugh’s confirmation has made them complicit in a kangaroo court culture, where largely uncorroborated accusations are believed wholeheartedly and people are assumed guilty until proven innocent.
In coming out against Kavanaugh, the ACLU abandons all interest in ensuring he receives a fair adjudication process in the court of public opinion. The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, while compelling, failed to prove by even the lowest evidentiary standard that Kavanaugh was her attacker. Rachel Mitchell, the veteran sex crimes prosecutor who questioned Ford on the behalf of the GOP, wrote in her memo to Republican senators: “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.” Mitchell went on to note that no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring Ford’s case to trial, adding that it fails to meet one of the lowest burdens of proof: the “preponderance of evidence” standard.
Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh, along with those of two other Kavanaugh accusers, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, have yet to be corroborated or backed up by any type of compelling evidence. But they’re treated as gospel truth by Democrats, #MeToo activists, and now the ACLU. The ACLU cannot claim to be a champion for civil liberties and defender of constitutional rights while joining in on a partisan smear campaign that is condemning a man based on accusations alone.
The organization’s conflation of Kavanaugh’s situation to that of disgraced figures such as Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby is especially shameful. Weinstein turned himself into New York authorities this past May after facing accusations from over 30 women. Prosecutors filed a multitude of criminal charges against him, all of which were related to rape and sexual assault. Bill Cosby faced 60 accusers and was found guilty by a jury on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in his home.
It’s disgraceful and misleading to compare these men, who have been shown to be repeat abusers throughout their entire lives, to Kavanaugh, who faces three uncorroborated accusations from his high school and early college years. While accusations from Kavanaugh’s accusers should not be ignored, it must be acknowledged that they lack significant weight and should be evaluated through a process that is fair to both the accused and the accuser. However, the ACLU is less interested in ensuring a fair process—and more keen on joining in the liberal firing squad against a judge who will solidify a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
It is no secret that the ACLU has a liberal bias, but their recent attack efforts against Kavanaugh show that they are willing to put partisanship above their core principles of defending civil liberties and due process. Their attack ad closes by stating: “As we choose a lifetime seat on our highest court, integrity matters. And we cannot have any doubt.”
Here, they are right—integrity and morals do matter, and the moral thing for the ACLU to have done would be to advocate for a fair and equitable process regarding Kavanaugh. Instead, they have rushed to judgment and condemned his character, abandoning all integrity in the process.