It’s been a while since Minnesota Senator Al Franken announced he would be resigning from the Senate in the light of multiple allegations of sexual assault. At this point, Cher’s farewell tour might wind up being shorter than Franken’s. Of course, Franken’s supporters are upset to see him leave because they feel he didn’t get a chance to address the allegations against him. In legal and Constitutional terms, this is called due process, and as you might expect, the Left sees it a little differently than the rest of us do.
What the Left thinks it means – the steps necessary to obtain a fair and just ruling
What it really means – the steps necessary to obtain a fair and just ruling regardless of who is being accused
Although the Left and the rest of us see due process similarly, there is a vital difference: the Left demands due process for their side, but not for anyone else. I know this is shocking to think about, but Leftists are hypocrites in this area, among many others.
Remember the University of Virginia date rape case? I’m sure Rolling Stone does, considering they paid out for their bad reporting. But the Left used the case as proof of a rape culture on American campuses well before the first allegations were researched. In that particular situation, the narrative was more important than the facts, and they ran with it.
This came to a head again when Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos changed Title IX regulations to allow for more due process with college date rape investigations. The Left were angrier than Rosie O’Donnell on any day ending in a Y during the Trump Administration. How dare DeVos make it harder for the accused to be disregarded! How dare she try to make the investigation process fair for everyone involved instead of just the victim! Women are to be believed because they simply don’t lie about sexual assault!
Then came Al Franken. All of the sudden, the Left cared about the process and making sure the allegations were valid. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact Franken is a proud Leftist in a position of power, would it? Nahhhhhhh!
The thing about the Franken situation is he wasn’t denied due process. He chose not to go to court to address the matter and instead tried to weasel out of it by asking for an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. (Senate Ethics? Isn’t that a paradox?) The Senate Ethics Committee is not known for dishing out tough punishments for ethics violations. In recent history, there have been a number of violations brought before them, and only one has resulted in any significant form of punishment (that is, if you consider a light slap on the wrist to be significant).
If the Left were truly concerned about due process, they would have demanded Franken face his accusers in court. Very few did. The majority of them decided the Senate Ethics Committee was the end all and be all of due process when it’s not even close to it.
Due process is vital for two reasons. First, it gives both sides equal footing to make their cases. Second, it allows for an appropriate punishment or lack of punishment depending on what is found. As shocking as this may sound, the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn’t act in the same way as a court of law and has completely different standards. As such, it’s more of a diversion or perversion of due process for Franken to accept that route in lieu of having a day in court.
And it certainly doesn’t make it easier for the Left to demand due process be ignored on college campuses.
Look, if you want due process, you have to want it for everyone across the board, not just for the people you agree with. That ensures everyone has a chance to get it.
Think of it this way. What if Ted Cruz accused you of violently beating an elderly nun in a Whole Foods in Austin? Due process gives you the chance to refute those allegations with a jury of your peers. Partisan due process gives Cruz the chance to railroad you to jail without so much as a peep out of you.
Or if you prefer, talk to Rolling Stone about the importance of due process.