Many People Have Missed The Point On The Brett Kavanaugh Mess

The benefit of the doubt in a job interview always goes to the employer not to the job applicant.

By David Grace (

Every Successful Activity Requires That People Ask The Right Questions

If the carpenter’s yardstick is off, the entire building will come out wrong.

If you’re not asking the right questions, if you’re not using the right yardstick, no matter how smart or well-intentioned you are, you will fail.

Many People Asked The Wrong Questions About Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

The wrong questions are:

  • Is it more likely than not that BK groped Christine Blasey Ford?
  • It is more likely than not that BK didn’t grope Christine Blasey Ford?

You Never Hire Someone Who Is Just “More Likely Than Not” The Right Candidate

More likely than not is the standard used for awarding a plaintiff a money judgment in a civil trial, not the benchmark any employer uses in deciding whether or not to hire a person for an extremely important job.

A company would never hire a new CFO or CEO who they only thought was more likely than not to do a good job. If Apple or Walmart or Goldman Sachs had any doubts about whether a candidate was the right person to be their new CEO they would not hire him/her. Period.

Whether BK should become a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court is not a “more likely than not to be the right person” kind of question.

If There Is Any Question, The Default Answer Is “No”

In every criminal trial the jury is asked: Are you absolutely sure that the defendant is guilty?

  • If the defendant’s guilt or innocence is a tossup, the defendant goes free.
  • If the jury thinks that the defendant probably did it, the defendant goes free.
  • If the jury is almost certain that the defendant did it, the defendant goes free.

In the absence of certainty, the default answer is “No.”

When appointing a CEO, a high-ranking military officer, or the director of an intelligence agency, leastwise a lifetime Justice of the Supreme Court, in the absence of certainty, the default answer is always “No.”

No One Has A Right To Get A Crucial & Powerful Job

No one is entitled to sit on the Supreme Court or be the Director of the CIA or the Supervisor of the Organized Crime Division of the FBI or be hired as your company’s new CEO.

No job applicant has a right to get the job.

The right question, the right standard for approving someone to sit on the Supreme Court is the same as the one we would use when approving a candidate to become the head of the CIA or in control of America’s nuclear weapons, or the chief of the Organized Crime Division of the FBI, or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, namely:

Are we absolutely sure that this is the right person for this incredibly sensitive and powerful job?

If Bill Smith was up for director of the FBI’s Organized Crime Division and someone credible swore under oath that thirty years ago she saw police-officer Bill Smith take a bribe from a member of an organized crime family and the FBI Director couldn’t be sure if the statement was true or not, the Director would err on the side of caution and not give Smith the job.

The rule for important jobs is:

  • If you are sure that this is the right person for this incredibly crucial, powerful and sensitive job, then he/she gets hired.
  • If there is any reasonable doubt that this is the right person for this highly sensitive job, then they don’t get hired.

A Reasonable Doubt

Kavanaugh’s denials of heavy drinking, his hostile, partisan attitude, his “what goes around comes around” comment, his accusation that Professor Ford’s claim of sexual assault was a fake left-wing smear, all raise a material, reasonable doubt about his being the right person for the job.

In the case of doubt, the default answer about hiring any candidate for any important job is always “No.”

What Robert Byrd Said About Confirming Clarence Thomas

When Clarence Thomas was up for confirmation to the Supreme Court, Senator Robert Byrd explained why he had switched his vote from a “yes” to a “no”:

“Given a justice’s power to affect the lives of millions of Americans in all aspects of living, if we are going to give the benefit of the doubt, let us give it to the Court. Let us give it to the country. . . . As far as I am concerned, the ‘benefit of the doubt’ will go to the Court, and to my children and to my grandchildren and to the country.”

The benefit of the doubt in a job interview always goes to the employer not to the job applicant.

In this case, the benefit of the doubt should have gone to the Court and to the country not to Brett Kavanaugh.

–David Grace (

To see a searchable list of all David Grace’s columns in chronological order, CLICK HERE

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Government Theory, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian; Wealth & Poverty; Law & The Constitution; Democrats, GOP & Political Parties; Guns & The 2nd Amendment; Privacy v. Gov’t Action

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David Grace

David Grace

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 16 novels and over 400 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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