To the Editor:
A casual stroll through the government department reveals an environment exploding with stress. Some of this, such as the stress attributed to upcoming prelims, is justified. The stress surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and subsequent allegations is wildly misplaced.
Cornellians are rightfully distressed about the prospect that an abuser could sit on the court. However, we seem to be ignoring the disturbing and rapid decay of due process in the United States as a result of this debacle. We must grapple with the idea of what is considered enough to ruin someone’s life. Is an unproved and possibly unprovable allegation enough to destroy someone’s career and potential for having a normal life?
I ask the editor, and my Cornell community as a whole, what is to stop someone from making an allegation against you? Anyone can say you did anything at any given time in any location. How can you prove you didn’t? In most cases, such as Brett Kavanaugh’s, you simply cannot. This is why we must require some sort of standard to determine the veracity of an allegation. In court, this would be called a burden of proof.
Sexual assault is terrible. Not a single well-meaning, reasonable person would say otherwise. If evidence comes out that proves Brett Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Ford, he should not only be removed from consideration for being on the Supreme Court, he should also be forced out of the D.C. circuit court. That being said, such evidence has not yet been presented. So far, the entire situation has been a case of he said, she said. Kavanaugh, as well as every other human being who could be in this situation, deserves much better than this.
Ruairi Walsh ’21