Disgraced former judge Roy Moore faces accusations of child molestation. Does the right to due process
mean that voters should presume him innocent? Nope, says David French at NRO
Constitutional protections for due process apply when the state is attempting to deprive a person of “life, liberty, or property.” That’s why we have trials before we render civil or criminal judgments. That’s why due process is mandatory before state-mandated punishment in campus sexual assault tribunals. As a general rule, when the state is attempting to deprive you of rights you’d otherwise enjoy, due process attaches. Here, there is no state action. Roy Moore will not lose his life, liberty, or property if voters reject his bid for high office.
Due process protections, absolutely, positively do not prevent voters from evaluating the veracity of news reports and judging whether a politician is fit for public office. It was entirely fair for voters to analyze the available facts about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal or the available facts about the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation without waiting for the outcome of a civil or criminal proceeding. It is entirely fair for members of the public to evaluate Juanita Broaddrick’s claims against Bill Clinton without a trial. Similarly, it’s entirely fair for the public to analyze the available facts about Roy Moore before deciding how to vote.