An Accusation: A Biblical Worldview

 

The confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the supreme court has taught us if nothing else, that liberal progressives don’t want another conservative Justice. It seems as though they will go to any length to discredit the Judge, not on his legal qualifications, record or education, but based on an accusation of sexual assault from 36 years ago. According to a recent FBI report, there is no corroborating evidence that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty of the allegations against him. However, many on the left don’t seem to care. They ignore due process when it doesn’t support their objectives, which is their approach to the U.S. Constitution in the first place. They don’t care what it says or means. They only care to make the Constitution say what they wish it to say.

The lack of due process, in this case, is evidence of their disrespect for the Constitution. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution contain a Due Process Clause.  The irony is that this is the very document Judge Kavanaugh is sworn to uphold, but liberals in the Senate ignore. Don’t believe me? Read the fifth amendment for yourself:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The Legal Information Institute explains the Due Process Clause in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment saying:

The guarantee of due process for all persons requires the government to respect all rights, guarantees, and protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution and all applicable statutes before the government can deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Due process essentially guarantees that a party will receive a fundamentally fair, orderly, and just judicial proceeding. While the Fifth Amendment only applies to the federal government, the identical text in the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly applies this due process requirement to the states as well.

Courts have come to recognize that two aspects of due process exist: procedural due process and substantive due process. The procedural due process aims to ensure fundamental fairness by guaranteeing a party the right to be heard, ensuring that the parties receive proper notification throughout the litigation, and ensures that the adjudicating court has the appropriate jurisdiction to render a judgment. Meanwhile, substantive due process has developed during the 20th century as protecting those substantive rights so fundamental as to be “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

From a biblical perspective Deuteronomy 19:15-21 gives the laws concerning witnesses. Verse 15 provides the foundation for bringing forth an accusation. There must be two or three witnesses:

            “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.” (Deut. 19:15 ESV)

According to this standard, Dr. Ford’s testimony should not have been brought forth.

The following verses speak to a malicious witness where the accused and the accuser are brought before the Priest and Judges to adjudicate the claim. If the witness is found to be malicious—falsely accusing someone of a crime—that person was to be punished.

 “If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days.  The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.” (Deut 19:16-20 ESV)

Clearly, this would rid the community of many false accusations.

The final verse of this section is what has been called the Lex Talionis. It speaks of the law of retribution. In other words, the punishment should meet the crime. You don’t get to wipe out a person’s family because he knocked out your tooth. Retributive justice means that the punishment should be equal to the crime. Thus, verse 21 says “Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” You shall not have pity on the wrongful accuser in this case. However, you must also apply the correct judgment to the supposed crime. If you take a life, your life could be forfeited through the death penalty or imprisonment for life. If one knocks out someone’s tooth there should be a penalty that meets the severity of the crime. You don’t give the death penalty for a tooth loss.

The point I want to make in this text is that the standard for accusation against someone is very high. It needs to be corroborated to prevent a malicious witness from destroying the reputation of the accused. It’s clear that biblical law has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Just as it has a provision that the sentence or punishment should meet the crime.

Even though the confirmation was not an actual criminal trial, it should still have the same standards of evidence and witnesses. Of course, this appeal to the Bible for guidance on witnesses won’t matter to liberal progressives. Like the Constitution, they only use the Bible to say what they want it to mean.

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