EDITORIAL – Precautionary principle may be the answer to Kavanaugh mess

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies at Senate hearing. (Image: TV screenshot)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE FBI INVESTIGATION into U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh is underway and the G-Men have till the end of the week to wrap it up.

My fellow editorialist James Peters wrote Friday on concerns that due process has become a casualty in the issue of sexual abuse against women. I agree with what he had to say, but there’s a way out of the Kavanaugh mess.

The conundrum is this: an entirely believable accuser is unable to corroborate a sexual assault by Kavanaugh she says happened 36 years ago. An emotional, angry Kavanaugh passionately denies he did it, and says his good name has forever been tarnished.

I watched for several hours last week as this drama played out on TV, and I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

I don’t like Kavanaugh after watching his evasiveness and his smart-ass retorts to senators asking him questions.

But if this were a trial, Kavanaugh would be acquitted on lack of evidence.

So doesn’t the judge have a right to have his future decided on evidence rather than on what amounts to hearsay, no matter how convincing?

I think there’s more to it than that.

The lack of consistency in the process — the legal system versus the court of public opinion — is having terrible consequences for both accused and accusers.

Why is it that in the entertainment business, when an accusation is made, with a couple of notable exceptions due process barely gets a whiff as careers and lives are discarded? Politicians including the president, on the other hand, often get a free pass.

Then there’s Brett Kavanaugh. His case is unique, and resolvable.

The precautionary principle would suggest that, whether or not there’s proof of Dr. Ford’s allegation beyond her word, a credible accuser should be enough not to take a chance on a man who’s in line for one of the most prestigious and important jobs in his country.

In his case, but not in all, the determining factor should be whether Dr. Ford is believable. And she is.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6804 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on EDITORIAL – Precautionary principle may be the answer to Kavanaugh mess

  1. George S Duncan // October 1, 2018 at 2:54 PM // Reply

    The problem isn’t Kavanaugh … the problem is that the Democrats attack everyone and anyone the Republicans put forward. They attacked Clarence Thomas. They attacked Robert Bork. They attack ANYONE, and with consistently vague, questionable accounts given years or decades later by left-wing — and ONLY left-wing — women. If that doesn’t make an observer suspicious, there might be an agenda other than justice.

  2. Robert Bruce // October 1, 2018 at 1:11 PM // Reply

    You think she’s believable, not everyone thinks that. I’m on the fence, all I heard when I listened to her was how this is a story of 2 rich kids and she got tussled by a boy at a place she went to, knowing he would be there. I know he’s in the chambers because he’s GWB’s best bud, his wife was George’s secretary forever. She is there because she claims he was an ar$e. This is a story about spoilt brats. I’m no fan of him. But, she cannot date it, she cannot say where, saying you told your therapist and husband years ago- not credible witnesses at all. Seems like a political hatchet job on a placed ringer….But what is an issue is the #metoo movement projecting all the hurt that every woman in the world has ever suffered….is all on BK’s shoulders now….”The lack of consistency in the process — the legal system versus the court of public opinion — is having terrible consequences for both accused and accusers.” Is a bit of an understatement.

  3. Hear ye, hear ye

  4. A credible accuser…Hollywood style? They are very good at “credible” down there. I don’t agree at all with your take Mr. MR!
    But I agree though our society is in shambles…where truth and honesty have been sacrificed at the altar of politics and well prior to this episode.

  5. Sean McGuinness // October 1, 2018 at 7:26 AM // Reply

    Everything in this column makes sense. Why do the republicans still want Kavanaugh appointed? The reason is that a failure to do so would be viewed a failure of both the president and senate republicans. Even worse, it would be viewed as a victory for democrats, a month before elections. The integrity of the Supreme Court is being sacrificed at the altar of politics.

  6. Ian M MacKenzie // October 1, 2018 at 7:09 AM // Reply

    I agree.

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