Impossible standard

Who seeking federal office – whether it is a seat in the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House or the Supreme Court – never did anything he or she should not have done during their teen years?

From the moment President Donald Trump announced federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, Democrats have searched high and low for ways to stop Kavanaugh. The reason for Democrats’ strident and obsessive opposition to Kavanaugh is their belief that he would be the deciding vote on the high court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a constitutional right to an abortion.

On Sunday, it was revealed that a California woman named Christine Blasey Ford is accusing Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her some 35 years ago. She claims the then-teenaged Kavanaugh grinded his body against her and tried to remove her clothing. Blasey Ford further alleges Kavanaugh placed his hand on her mouth as she tried to scream. She said she managed to escape when a third person jumped on them.

For his part, Kavanaugh calls the allegations “completely false.”

As soon as Blasey Ford revealed herself to The Washington Post on Sunday, U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, both D-N.H., joined fellow liberals in calling for a stoppage to this week’s scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh. They had already made it clear they will oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh it reaches a full Senate vote.

“Professor Ford has come forward with an allegation of sexual assault, detailing a painful experience that will ring true to many women. Sadly, what will also ring true is the rush to marginalize and attack her,” Hassan tweeted on Sunday.

No one in The Telegraph’s Nashua office is marginalizing or attacking Blasey Ford. We do, however, have some thoughts on the issue.

In criminal law, there are sequential thresholds for finding someone guilty.

Step 1 – An alleged victim files a complaint with law enforcement;

Step 2 – If law enforcement officials believe in the veracity of the complaint, they file charges;

Step 3 – If members of the grand jury find the charges are strong enough, they issue an indictment; and

Step 4 – If a judge and/or jury find the prosecution’s case strong enough, they find the accused guilty.

As far as we can tell, this matter never even got to Step 1.

Again, we are not defending Kavanaugh or his alleged actions. We are defending a person’s right to due process under the law. A mere allegation that a teenager supposedly did something more than 35 years ago should not be enough to derail a 53-year-old adult’s career.