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
Due Process Rights
Articles relating to due process rights for our College boys
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally rescinded the Obama administration’s commands that universities use unfair rules in sexual-misconduct investigations- rules that had the effect of finding more students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.
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
It’s frightening that legal minds and educated people see the inclusion of due process rights as “an attack on survivor rights.” More sensible people realize that due process is not an impediment to justice, but in fact necessary to ensure fairness. In a recent survey from the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy, respondents overwhelmingly agreed that due process is necessary for those accused of the heinous crime of sexual assault. Sixty-five percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of Independents told researchers they agreed with the statement: “Students accused of crimes on college campuses should receive the same civil liberties protections from their colleges that they receive in the court system.”
thefederalist.com By Ashe Schow
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos vowed to replace the “failed system” of campus sexual assault enforcement, to ensure fairness for both victims and the accused. The speech, harshly critical of rules put in place by the Obama administration, was made to invited guests at George Mason University. “Here is what I’ve learned: the truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students. Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved. That’s why we must do better, because the current approach isn’t working.” Read DeVos’ prepared remarks in full.
washingtonpost.com By Susan Svrluga
Students and educators now live in a world where expressing an opinion about sexual harassment can be sincerely perceived as sexual harassment. In May 2015, Laura Kipnis was famously the subject of a Title IX investigation by Northwestern University for an essay she wrote suggesting there are too many Title IX investigations. Today, Jeannie Suk Gersen reports for The New Yorker that Kipnis was the subject of yet another Northwestern Title IX investigation earlier this year — this time for writing “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,” a book about being investigated for saying there are too many Title IX investigations.
thefire.org By Nico Perrino
A federal appeals court upheld blocking a university’s suspension of a male student who argues he was completely denied his right to confront a female student accusing him of sexual assault. The court ruling said with the “he said/she said” nature of the case, UC officials needed to provide fundamental fairness to a state university student facing long-term exclusion… “What is most important as the Department of Education reconsiders the guidance provided to schools is the Court’s recognition that due process is in the interest of both the accused and the accuser,” Attorney Josh Engel said. “In this case, the court found that the ability to confront one’s accuser is important not merely because it aids in the defense by an accused student, but because it allows the school to better get at the truth of accusations.” Engel said this was the first time an appeals court has ruled that a college or university violated an accused student’s right to confront the accuser.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded Obama-era guidance on sexual assault that ensured more innocent students accused of the abhorrent crime would be found responsible and expelled…schools will now have to adhere to 2001 and 2006 guidance from DoE. This really is good news, but there is still a long, long road ahead for colleges and students. Activists, media and legislators have succeeded in expanding the definition of sexual assault. Essentially, if a woman says she was raped, she was raped. Drunken hookups are now rape, regretted sex is rape, because, in the words of one activist, students “need some time to reflect” before deciding to make an accusation. There is virtually no way for a student- especially a male student- to have consensual sex on campus.
thefederalist.com By Ashe Schow
Six years of federal Title IX policy that stripped college students and faculty members of important due process protections and sowed confusion among administrators is finally over. Today, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that the April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter and an accompanying 2014 guidance document are rescinded. The 2011 letter mandated that colleges use the low, “preponderance of the evidence” standard in adjudicating accusations of sexual misconduct on campus. It also recommended the removal of other critical elements of a fair procedure, such as the right to cross-examination and prohibitions on double jeopardy (being tried for the same accusation twice)…“The campus justice system was and is broken,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley and author of Twisting Title IX.
Since 2014, at least four students suspended or expelled for violating MSU’s sexual misconduct policy have sued the university over a lack of due process in how their cases were handled. This 5th lawsuit alleges that there were serious problems with MSU’s investigation, and that key facts that corroborated the accused’s story were disregarded, and that individuals weren’t interviewed under oath and the investigator’s notes weren’t provided to the accused. The accused, who was then a 22-year-old senior, met the accuser in the fall of 2016 through Jack’d, a gay chatting and dating app, according to the investigatory report. The senior invited the freshman to tailgate in October and both admitted to drinking and kissing during the day. Their stories diverge from there.
lansingstatejournal.com By RJ Wolcott