According to a recent headline by Rasmussen Reports, “Most Americans Agree with DeVos on Sexual Misconduct Cases.” That headline however is an understatement. Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with DeVos’s statement that “Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.” 73 percent agreed with that statement, compared to only 6 percent who disagreed, leaving 20 percent not sure how they felt about it.
thefire.org By Joe Cohn
A Penn State pre-med student is accusing the university of trying to circumvent a federal judge’s order and throw him out of school. John Doe, makes the allegation in a motion filed Friday in U.S. Middle District Court seeking to have two university’s administrators held in civil contempt of court. Last August, John Doe succeeded in court and obtained a preliminary injunction to prevent a one-semester suspension. But then PSU withdrew the panel’s finding of responsibility and sanctions. Penn State wants to retrying Doe before a new Title IX panel on Oct. 25. Doe accuses the university and the other defendants in his lawsuit of having a goal to have him “once again removed through a fatally flawed and biased process.”
pennlive.com By John Beauge
On Oct. 4, 2017 FIRE testified at the Department of Education’s hearing on regulatory reform, which sought public input on “regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification.” FIRE took yet another opportunity to ask the department to prioritize fair procedures and due process for both alleged victims of sexual misconduct and those accused of it. Read the full text of FIRE’s comments, delivered at the department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
thefire.org By Alex Morey
Proskauer’s Higher Education group released a report on lawsuits brought by students accused of sexual misconduct. Their report reviews 130 federal and state court complaints filed by students across the country between January 2011 and December 2016 who claim violation of their rights during a Title IX investigation.
Since April 2011, at least 188 students accused of sexual misconduct at universities around the country have brought lawsuits alleging that they were unfairly treated in their schools’ adjudication processes. As I’ve noted in the past, these lawsuits typically include one or more of the following three claims: 1) denial of constitutional due process rights (at public universities); 2) sex discrimination in violation of Title IX; and 3) breach of contract. Traditionally, courts have deferred to universities’ judgment, but as these cases have proliferated over the past few years, a number of courts recognize the unusually high stakes and have held that schools must offer at least the most basic elements of a fair procedure before labeling students as sex offenders.
thefire.org By Samantha Harris
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally rescinded the Obama administration’s commands that universities use unfair rules in sexual-misconduct investigations- rules that had the effect of finding more students guilty of sexual assault. And she appears also to be preparing for far more forceful due-process protections down the road…The Obama decrees flouted basic principles of sound policymaking and violated the notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946.
weeklystandard.com By KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr.
Stanford has joined Yale as one of the only two American universities required by the federal government to outline its campus sexual assault adjudications, and both offer grim statistics that don’t hold up to much rational analysis…Stanford’s data suggests not an epidemic but instead, a campus environment in which students (perhaps understandably, responding to a radicalized campus culture) bring allegations that are so dubious even Stanford’s procedures can’t justify a guilty finding.
mindingthecampus.org By KC Johnson
University of North Carolina football player Allen Artis hit it off with Delaney Robinson. That night they had sex — that is not in dispute. Much else would be though, after she lodged a rape accusation. Most of the case remained out of public view until it was resolved this summer. Police, court and campus documents obtained by RealClearInvestigations, as well as exclusive interviews offer a rare inside look at the complex dynamics of sexual assault accusations and justice on American campuses. They illuminate a dense and murky landscape where the “he said, she said” vagaries of sexual consent are exacerbated not only by drugs and alcohol but politically charged campus rape-response procedures.
realclearinvestigations.com By Ashe Schow
Martha MacCallum speaks with Betsy DeVos on her new directives involving sexual assault policies on campus and restoring due process. @FOXnews.com
Feminist Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley says reform is necessary and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is starting a necessary conversation. Listen to Halley’s interview on All Things Considered @npr.org
Syracuse University defended an Obama-era crackdown on campus sexual assaults in its rebuke of an expelled student’s lawsuit. Lawyers for the university attacked each of the former student’s claims in a 33-page filing asking a judge to throw out the lawsuit. “John Doe” is one of dozens of accused students who have filed federal lawsuits against their universities. Doe’s lawsuit captures points made in a debate raging nationwide over the way colleges handle murky, often alcohol-fueled sexual encounters.
syracuse.com By Julie McMahon