“ME TOO MOVEMENT” DEFINES INJUSTICE.
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Carl Sagan – Accomplished American Scientist
Before I explain why powerful people in this county are undermining the American view of justice, I want to make readers aware of four aspects of my life experience:
(1) I know that some men, particularly those in powerful positions, sometimes take advantage of women in the workplace and in social environments. These men are cowards, bullies, and deeply insecure;
(2) I have personally witnessed credible testimony of women regarding heinous crimes influenced by the black hearts of evil men;
(3) I serve on the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board. Our purpose is protecting Georgia’s children and communities at large by identifying convicted sexual offenders that present the greatest risk of sexually re-offending. The vast majority of sex offenders are men; and
(4) I have three younger sisters. My duty as their older brother was, and still is, to protect them; particularly from predatory men.
As a criminal defense attorney who firmly believes in and uses the Constitution to vigorously protect my clients, I know that if an accused is indicted by a grand jury for a criminal offense allegedly committed against a woman, he is in great jeopardy. If he exercises his right to a trial by jury, he now has an additional burden during the most critical part of any trial; voir dire (also commonly known as jury selection.)
This additional burden stems from the bias some people have because of the “ME TOO movement” (MTM). While this “movement” lacks a united purpose, its effect has shaken the core of American jurisprudence. Today, when a man is accused of sexual misconduct, judgment often comes first. Fact checking may or may not come later. For example, if a jury consists of anyone like Jenni Russell, the accused is denied the right to a fair trial. Jenni believes that “justice is being betrayed by society’s bias towards believing men.” Jenni boasted in a New York Times column that she knows “how men with sterling reputations can behave. No need for evidence, we just know.”
Well, accusations of any kind are supposed to be carefully scrutinized based on evidence, not “just knowing.” Otherwise, our criminal justice system would be based on the Soviet concept of “guilty until proven innocent.”
Additionally, alleged victims of a man’s sexual misconduct are already firmly protected in Georgia, as well as in other states. In criminal trials, alleged victims in Georgia cannot be thoroughly cross examined about their credibility because of the Rape Shield Statute. However, the accused does not have any such protection. A male defendant with no legal training must withstand the oftentimes intense and skillful questioning of a seasoned prosecutor.
Advocacy of the presumption of guilt for men accused of sexual misconduct spilled into the public arena years before the MTM. In the early 1990’s, Senate Democrats and a few Republicans attempted to destroy the reputation of Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill, a Democrat who previously worked for Justice Thomas, accused the conservative of extraordinarily embarrassing and inappropriate sexual behavior. Although the senators, who either believed her or blindly supported her, failed to provide extraordinary evidence to derail his confirmation, they succeeded in tarnishing the stellar reputation of one of Georgia’s favorite sons.
Make no mistake, Republicans engage in this “guilt before proof” activity as well. For instance, last year Senator Al Franken (D)(MN) was accused by women of past sexual misconduct. As soon as the story surfaced, many Republicans, including President Trump, denounced him and concluded that he was guilty. Franken, a strong voice for liberal philosophy and causes, was forced to resign.
Today, we again see Senate Democrats trying to destroy the reputation of another honorable man. The target is Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s conservative SCOTUS nominee.
Earlier this summer, Christine Ford, a college professor from California, wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democrat lawmaker alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. After she wrote the mysterious letter, she watched her story become public from afar, disrupting a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Now that she has been identified, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend, both “stumbling drunk,” corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.
She has finally agreed testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I do not know whether her allegation is true. If it is, then it should be seriously considered, along with the other relevant aspects of Judge Kavanaugh’s life and career. If credible, independent evidence establishes that she has lied, then she should be subject to a perjury investigation by the Department of Justice.
Regardless of how she testifies, even Judge Kavanaugh’s most ardent enemies realize that significant and problematic questions associated with her and her credibility surround this extraordinary story before she even arrives in Washington. Some of those questions include (1) Why did she wait 36 years to send a message about alleged misconduct? This allegedly happened when I was eight years old, a man in a houndstooth hat stood in the endzone in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a sophomore running back in Athens, Georgia would be preparing for an eventual Heisman Trophy? (2) Like Anita Hill, why did she time her story to coincide with Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process to SCOTUS? (3) Why did she send a confidential letter to a high-ranking Congressional Democrat? (4) What political affiliation does she associate with? (5) Does she oppose the judge’s judicial philosophy? (6) What about her lawyers?
Additionally, we must keep in mind that this will not just be another shameful confirmation inquisition that assists the U.S. Senate in earning their 14% approval rating. It is more important than the next few presidential elections combined. If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh, age 53, will become the 5th conservative justice on the nine-member Court. The other four conservative justices are also young (Gorsuch – 51, Roberts – 63, Alito – 68, – Thomas – 70). This youthful majority, coupled with the possible retirement in the near future of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 85), who has unfortunately been plagued with health problems, would be expected to serve and control the balance of the Court for decades. Because of this, some people, including those associated with the MTM, will stop at nothing to see that he is not confirmed.
The MTM has been, and continues to be, a clear and present danger to those facing criminal charges. The MTM has also advocated for, and participated in, acts of injustice unleashed against citizens seeking to serve the public.
But, they can be stopped with strength, truth, and unemotional logic. The public must be aware of how the MTM undermines basic concepts of Judeo-Christian justice.
While Judge Kavanaugh may the victim today, tomorrow it will be someone else. For political reasons, I understand why Democrats will not confront the MTM today. Under similar circumstances, Republicans would not either. However, since the MTM’s tactics affect everyone, a bipartisan effort is needed soon with clear citations to the Constitution and education about the history behind the Bill of Rights.
Our great state of Georgia has boldly tackled criminal justice reform in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner for the past eight years. We must continue to battle any force that seeks to establish injustice within the borders of our state and country.
The MTM defines the extraordinary injustice that we must defeat. Jason W, Swindle, Sr.