A Democratic senator implied Sunday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be denied the presumption of innocence because she disagrees with his rulings as a judge.
Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono made it clear during a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that her views on Kavanaugh were shaped by her revulsion to his political beliefs.
Kavanaugh is “very much against women’s reproductive choice,” she said, connecting that to what she called his “many indications of lack of credibility.”
Although Kavanaugh has denied allegations of sexual misconduct from his high school and college days, Democrats have demanded investigations into the claims and said Kavanaugh’s nomination should be stopped dead in its tracks until all of their questions are answered.
For Hirono, that would mean going way beyond the events of the night in question when Christine Blasey Ford claims Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual misconduct, a claim he denies.
“I would be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school,” Hirono said. “Apparently, there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. This is why we need an investigation — we need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper wondered whether there was a double standard for conservative judges and other Americans.
“Doesn’t Kavanaugh have the same presumption of innocence as anyone else in America?” Tapper asked.
Hirono evaded a direct answer.
“I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases,” she said.
She then framed a further response in partisan terms.
“His credibility is already very questionable in my mind and the minds of a lot of my fellow judiciary committee members, the Democrats,” she said. “He has an ideological agenda that’s very outcome driven, and I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his, in my view, inability to be fair in the cases that come before him.”
When Tapper asked again about the presumption of innocence, Hirono replied, “Well, I believe her — let’s put it that way.”
Hirono also said that even if Kavanaugh is confirmed, she would like an investigation in hopes that the Senate could impeach him for misconduct if Ford’s charges can be proven.
“I know that Maryland has eliminated the statute of limitations for kidnapping and sexual assault,” she said. “So there may be an investigation along those lines. This is a situation that is not going to go away.”
In the past, Hirono has been strident about the case.
“I expect the men in this country and the men on this committee, because we all signed onto this letter, to demand an FBI investigation,” she said, according to Fox News.
She has also, from the beginning rejected the concept of fairness for Kavanaugh.
“Judge Kavanaugh has not earned the benefit of the doubt,” she said in a July 9 statement issued the day President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh.