By a split 2–1 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that the University of Houston did not violate the due process rights of two students who were expelled for sexual misconduct. The Plummer case presents two clearly contrasting judicial viewpoints-a majority opinion showing deference to the University and a dissenting opinion asserting that the judiciary must intervene to correct processes that are not protecting the rights of the accused. The case remains before the Fifth Circuit, where the students have petitioned for a full en banc review…In their petition, the students request that the full Fifth Circuit provide “what the [majority opinion] failed to do: guidance for colleges and universities to implement Title IX in accordance with the Due Process Clause.” (Plummer v. University of Houston, et al., No. 15-20350 (5th Cir. June 26, 2017).
nixonpeabody.com By Sciocchetti and Richard
Due Process Rights
Articles relating to due process rights for our College boys
“Young college men that are wrongly accused are mentally harmed beyond belief,” says Alice True, founder of Save Our Sons “I know of many young guys who are immobilized by a false accusation. They’ve lost their education, their future, and their career dreams. They’ve let their families down, and even though they are innocent, the stigma of a false accusation lingers endlessly. Many guys are in therapy, they can’t get out of bed, they can’t cope with general life skills, they don’t trust women, and they can’t have a simple conversation with a woman.”
glamour.com By Lilly Dancyger
The University of Oregon lost in state court for suspending a student accused of rape without letting him respond to evidence and an expert opinion, and not documenting interviews with his accuser. Now “John Doe” is taking the university to federal court to obtain damages for emotional distress, harm to his academics and reputation, and attorney’s fees stretching back to UO’s investigation. Doe told investigators he wasn’t interested in having sexual contact with the accuser because he believed she had herpes, and that she may have made the accusation to get attention from her ex-boyfriend. Doe’s complaint alleges that “The University responded to Jane Roe’s accusations through arbitrary, discriminatory and illegal actions designed to reach a predetermined outcome, namely, John Doe’s suspension from the University.”
Both the accused and the accuser should have due process protections when colleges and universities resolve allegations of campus misconduct. Both parties should receive written notice before a formal investigation begins, both parties should be allowed to participate in an investigation, both parties should be allowed to review a school’s initial investigative report and to respond to the final report, and both parties should have a right to appeal, according to the report by the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on College Due Process Rights and Victim Protection.
abajournal.com B D.C. Weiss
As Columbia University settles a case with a student found innocent of sexual assault, the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is now calling for OCR to return “to its role as a neutral, impartial, investigative agency…[because it] had descended into a pattern of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than work with them to correct civil rights violations and of ignoring public input prior to issuing new rules.” That is, she will allow colleges to use a higher level of proof before finding someone guilty of a crime or offense. That’s not “enabling” sexual predation or excusing misbehavior, it’s making a flawed system better. There is no conflict between due process and treating victims of sexual assault with the care and consideration they deserve.
reason.com By Nick Gillespie
There is a war going on to stop Betsy DeVos from rescinding Lhamon’s “guidance,” and that war is being fought by academics willing to sacrifice facts and scholarly credibility to intentionally lie to the public and convince them to fight any change to Lhamon’s radical and lawless shift of campus sexual adjudication…At the core of this agenda is the antithesis of all that comprises the fundamental basis of our legal system: blindly believe the accuser, assume the accused guilty, deprive the accused of due process and assure his guilt.
simplejustice.us By Scott Greenfield
How university and college administrations have dealt with campus sexual misconduct charges has become one of the most volatile issues in higher education, with many women saying higher education leaders have not taken their trauma seriously. But the Obama administration’s response sparked a backlash, not just from the accused and their families but from well-regarded law school professors who say new rules went too far.
nytimes.com By E. Green and S. Stolberg
There is a strange fiction that dominates American college campuses. It is the belief that America’s most “tolerant,” progressive, and sensitive communities are simultaneously virtual hellholes for marginalized members of the community, justifying emergency extra-constitutional measures designed to end oppression and defend the defenseless. Thus, the federal government hypes false statistics that a staggering 20 percent of female students will be victims of sexual assault. Thus, campuses implement disciplinary practices and policies that deny due process and treat straight men as guilty until proven innocent. And, colleges claim, it’s all necessary. After all, rape and sexual harassment represent life-changing traumas. False accusations and unjust punishment? Well, that’s just a momentary inconvenience – a small price to pay for the cause of social justice… Tell that to the family of Thomas Klocke, a student at the University of Texas at Arlington.
CPI launched an initiative to combat false reports of sexual assault and the overcriminalization of sexual conduct. The program aggregates research on the rate of false accusations of sexual assault, noting that it is the second-most-common crime of which people are wrongfully convicted. The program places particular emphasis on the state of due process protections for those who are accused of sexual assault on college campuses. washingtontimes.com By Bradford Richardson