By Quin Hillyer at The Washington Examiner, before last Thursday’s hearings;

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has long been a senator I admire – not because she is philosophically where I am, which is clearly to her Right, but because she seems like a sincere and thoughtful moderate conservative, rather one of the “finger-in-the-wind/scared-of-one’s-own-shadow” variety. As I’ve said to fellow conservatives in conversations, emails, columns, and social media posts for many years (available upon request), she’s authentically moderate, not calculatingly so. That’s admirable.

That’s why I hope and expect she will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The overwhelming bulk of the record shows he has the character, integrity, experience, qualifications, judiciousness, and knowledge to be a superb justice.

His entire professional record clearly bears that out, as we will review momentarily. Alas, it is first necessary to consider the sex-infused allegations that suddenly appeared two weeks ago, after six separate FBI background checks failed to unearth them.

Start by positing that a woman claiming to have been sexually assaulted deserves some benefit of doubt. This is absolutely not to say she enjoys the automatic, unthinking acceptance of her claims – it is to say that her claims should be considered respectfully, as if they are reasonable and legitimate; that any initial vagueness should not immediately be disqualifying; and that discrepancies within a reasonable range (but not major or outlandish ones) should initially be assumed to be resolvable in her favor.

But then, especially when the allegations are from decades earlier, especially when they are “recalled” only with legal or therapeutic help, one must at some point examine available corroborating or noncorroborating factors. Again, the one claiming to have been victimized deserves some otherwise unusual considerations. Let the accuser identify any potential witnesses, and let independent people (e.g. journalists, not litigators for the accused) interview them. Let her be able to be held nonculpable for her own inebriation, but assume the accused is responsible for his behavior while intoxicated. Let her have a very strong presumption in her favor as to what does and doesn’t qualify as “consent.”

Yet in the two main incidents allegedly involving Brett Kavanaugh, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, even under these pro-accuser standards, weighs in his favor. …

[The rest of the column is at this link.]



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