Colleges are supposed to be places of learning. However by now, most readers are familiar with the persecution of men suspected of sexual assault on campuses throughout the nation. As your kids head off to school, they should be aware that sexual assault isn’t the only situation where college officials now figure silly things like due process should be completely ignored. U.S. universities have gotten away with behaving as if they aren’t on U.S. soil for a long time. It’s well past time for these power-hungry administrators to remember they aren’t self-governing states.
pjmedia.com By Tom Knighton
Monthly Archives: September 2016
Yale University denies it was trying to make an example of former basketball captain Jack Montague when it expelled him over a sexual assault allegation. The school filed its formal response late Friday to Montague’s federal lawsuit, which accused the Ivy League university of punishing Montague over what he believes was consensual sex. Police and the local prosecutor have said no criminal allegation was ever made against Montague.
PRESS RELEASE 9/13/2016: John Doe who sued Brandeis University in 2015, voluntarily dismisses his lawsuit
Patricia M. Hamill, a partner with the Philadelphia law firm Conrad O’Brien PC, announced today that her client, a former Brandeis University student who sued Brandeis in 2015 under the pseudonym John Doe, has decided to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit in a Stipulated Dismissal joined by Brandeis. Hamill, who spoke on behalf of her client in order to preserve his privacy and anonymity, explained that John Doe felt vindicated by the decision rendered by Judge F. Dennis Saylor, denying Brandeis’s motion to dismiss the case and stating John Doe plausibly alleged “that Brandeis denied [him] the ‘basic fairness’ to which he was entitled.”Judge Saylor’s decision reflected concern with the alleged unfairness of Brandeis’ process:“Brandeis appears to have substantially impaired, if not eliminated, an accused student’s right to a fair and impartial process.”Doe v. Brandeis University, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43449 *15 (D. Mass. Mar. 31, 2016).Moreover, Judge Saylor noted that the complaint raised questions as to the substantive findings against Doe: “Because the procedures employed by Brandeis did not afford the accused ‘basic fairness,’ the substantive result reached as a result of that process is open to serious doubt. However, the complaint also raises serious concerns as to the substantive result, even if one assumes that the process was otherwise procedurally fair.” Doe v. Brandeis University. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43499 *107 (D. Mass. Mar. 31, 2016). Hamill also cited John Doe’s concern with the expense of continuing the litigation and personal reasons, including his desire to get on with his professional and private life, as reasons for the voluntary withdrawal.Unaffected by the voluntary withdrawal of the lawsuit is John Doe’s Title IX complaint filed against Brandeis with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the federal agency that regulates and enforces compliance with Title IX. (Title IX is the federal law that prohibits educational institutions that receive federal funds from discriminating against their students on the basis of sex.) The OCR has accepted John Doe’s Title IX complaint and the agency’s investigation of Brandeis is ongoing.The OCR Title IX complaint is wholly separate and apart from the federal court complaint and is not affected by John Doe’s withdrawal of the federal court lawsuit.John Doe’s federal lawsuit, which garnered significant media attention, was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and alleged claims for breach of contract, negligence, defamation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. John Doe v. Brandeis University, Civil Action No. 15-11557-FDS. The lawsuit arose out of Brandeis’s handling of a two-sentence charge made by John Doe’s ex-boyfriend to Brandeis accusing John Doe of inappropriate, nonconsensual sexual interactions with him during their nearly two-year exclusive, dating relationship.
The lawsuit alleged that Brandeis’s handling of those allegations breached Brandeis’s own written policies and procedures, and that Brandeis’s then-new “Special Examiner Process” used to investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct allegations was a deeply flawed and fundamentally unfair process.The lawsuit challenged the Special Examiner’s findings, alleging the evidence did not support the findings and, further,wrongly elevated commonplace, everyday interactions in a nearly two-year romantic relationship into serious sexual transgressions.
“Today we have an elaborate and growing federal bureaucratic structure that in effect regulates sex.” This is largely the result of pressure from the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. By pressuring colleges to vastly increase their regulation of students’ sex lives, and demanding investigations students don’t want, the Obama Education Department has fueled vast expansions of college bureaucracies. Even if you liked being kissed, a college may deem it sexual assault if there was no explicit discussion beforehand between you and your partner to establish the existence of “affirmative consent,”
libertyunyielding.com By Hans Bader
Case after case shows the repeated lack of due process, shifted burdens of proof, presumption of guilt, negligence, breach of contract and erroneous outcomes that cause major damage to people’s lives. These cases continue to be filed, not only by the accused but many times by the accusers because their cases were mishandled so badly. “Whether someone is a ‘victim’ is a conclusion to be reached at the end of a fair process, not an assumption to be made at the beginning. Each case must be decided on its own merits…” John Doe v. Brandeis
westernjournalism.com By Jessica Denis
As we await final resolution of the first due process trial since issuance of the Dear Colleague letter in 2011 (at Brown), a few updates…the basics of the case: the accused student was found guilty on a theory that he had manipulated the female student into having oral sex. This outcome came after: the Brown panel used a broader definition of consent, Brown’s investigator declined to request from the accuser the full range of texts, and Brown had changed its sexual assault procedures…Among the updates, the most important: Judge William Smith, issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the accused student. The decision, which Smith had telegraphed at closing arguments, allowed the student to enroll this fall.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
Frostburg State University in Maryland was found in violation of Title IX…one of the most notable findings was that using “common sense” and “reason” are considered violations of Title IX, the anti sex-discrimination statute that is used to force schools to adjudicate felony sexual assault. Frostburg is so afraid of losing federal funding that they will accept OCR’s letter and alter their policies — which usually result in more accused students getting expelled with little to no evidence. Frostburg has already adopted OCR’s recommendations and will reinvestigate years worth of accusations, because double jeopardy isn’t a thing on college campuses.
washingtonexaminer.com By Ashe Schow
Auburn University dismissed running back Jovon Robinson—formerly the No. 1 junior college player in the country—after a female student accused him of assaulting her. But Robinson never assaulted anyone. His purported victim made it up entirely. The woman now readily admits to fabricating the allegation out of spite, she was angry at Robinson for making her leave his room…Says Title IX coordinator ‘really wanted to make it a big deal, after I told her basically that I lied.’
reason.com By Robby Soave
A private university has joined a former Virginia law student’s federal suit against the U.S. DoED. over the weak standard of evidence it requires colleges to use in sexual assault hearings. Doe and Oklahoma Wesleyan claim that the Office of Civil Rights violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires federal agencies to issue notice, hold meetings and seek public comment before adopting new rules. The suit also notes that universities are discouraged from allowing students to question or cross-examine each other during the campus hearings, a violation of defendants’ due-process rights… Under a federal agency’s misguided guidance, American colleges have established kangaroo courts where the innocent can be declared guilty in sham trials.
“Under the auspices of a punitive “Dear Colleague letter,” the Department of Education is forcing colleges to compromise the criminal investigation process by requiring us to convene a campus committee of faculty, staff and students to adjudicate allegations of sexual harassment and assault. As a college president, I believe this directive violates not only due process but also our students’ basic constitutional rights. Under these new “guidelines” students also lose their right to privacy and, in some cases, even the right to representation. The Department of Education is ignoring and circumventing Congress—an overreach that’s especially inappropriate, given the gravity of the crime at stake.”
heatst.com By Everett Piper president of Oklahoma Wesleyan