In the years following 2011, students accused of sexual assault have seen their due process rights eviscerated and their presumption of innocence ignored. Meanwhile, the definition of sexual assault has been expanded to include pretty much anything. The panelists who met on Capitol Hill last week aimed to provide fairness in their hearings, but rarely mentioned due process or fairness during the panel discussion….Outside of campus culture, men and women who face the risk of real sexual assault are forced to use the criminal justice system, where both accuser and accused have due process rights -apparently a terrible thing, according to activists, administrators and federal regulators.
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow
Extremists and Statistics
There’s ‘classical’ feminism, and then there’s extreme feminism
“The lower threshold as articulated in guidance in 2011 by the Office for Civil Rights provides the foundation for a likely outcome of responsibility.” It’s not about finding the truth, or administering justice. The purpose of the guidance is to make it more likely that accused students are found responsible, whether or not they have done anything wrong. OCR has tipped the scales in favor of alleged victims, because the lives of the accused matter less than the lives of the accusers.
reason.com By Robby Soave
A “rape culture” does not pervade our campuses. Nevertheless, our universities have curtailed basic civil liberties and perpetrated gross miscarriages of justice. Those who doubt due process has been degraded in college disciplinary proceedings should read “The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities” by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. The authors of the indispensable “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” have once again performed an outstanding public service. In tale after harrowing tale, they expose “a system on our nation’s campuses in which accused students effectively have to prove their innocence, often under procedures that deny them any meaningful opportunity to do so.”
realclearpolitics.com By Peter Berkowitz
A male student has sued Purdue University for suspending him for a year, and expelling him from its ROTC program after his ex-girlfriend accused him of snuggling without her consent while they were dating. Male gender bias exists at Purdue and many colleges across the country and essentially assumes that accused male students are guilty until proven innocent. This sex bias suit against Purdue was brought by Andrew Miltenberg who said the “school’s risk management systems favor punishment of innocent male students, for fear of backlash from victim advocate rights groups.”
thecollegefix.com By Greg Piper
As the Amherst case awaits a ruling after a preliminary hearing, there was a minor development in the case. Recent filings by the college reveal that the accusing student (A.S.) successfully quashed the accused student’s subpoena. The ruling thus ensured that not only would A.S. not be deposed, but she would not need to produce any relevant documents in the case. In a ruling that was a model of circuitous reasoning, Judge Robart, gave A.S. the benefit of the doubt on close legal issues. Ironically, Robart sent a message that the only way an accused student can obtain relevant evidence involving his accuser is to sue his accuser as well as the college. Expect more accusers to be added to future lawsuits as a result.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
Until recently, Yale insisted that accused professors enjoy basic due process, including the rights to a public, recorded hearing; to legal representation; to present evidence; to question opposing witnesses; and to a presumption of innocence unless convicted by “clear and convincing evidence.” Today, however, Yale and other universities routinely ignore or limit these rights. Yale now adjudicates sexual misconduct proceedings in secret. The standard of proof is reduced to “a preponderance of the evidence,” the lowest possible bar. And Yale made these changes [in secret] without the formal consent or approval of its faculty…SOS Note: College males have never enjoyed due process at Yale or at hundreds of other colleges.
washingtonpost.com/opinions By Judge José A. Cabranes
The Winthrop University Police Chief says after a thorough investigation, the report by a student that she was sexually assaulted is “unfounded.” The police investigation included a review of video from a number of security cameras in the area where the assault is said to have happened. “Winthrop Police found no evidence to substantiate the allegation that an assault occurred or that an assailant was present on campus. The campus was not in danger.”
Families Advocating for Campus Equality’s press release criticizing Obama’s last-minute efforts to reinforce Title IX overreach
January 9, 2017 – In recent weeks President Obama has made two key civil rights appointments in an apparent attempt to strengthen his administration’s ideological stranglehold over the issue of campus sexual harassment.
On December 15th, Obama appointed Catherine Lhamon, current head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to the nonpartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a position guaranteed through 2020. As head of OCR, Lhamon co-authored and aggressively enforced the infamous April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), which coerced college and university campuses across the nation to adjudicate complaints of sexual misconduct on a “more likely than not basis,” while simultaneously constraining schools’ ability to provide procedural protections intended to ensure accused students are presumed innocent and disciplinary findings are reliable.
U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) has repeatedly echoed the objections of members of congress, scholars, legal experts and various organizations by condemning the illegally-issued 2011 DCL for its failure to provide “essential protections” to accused students which, ‘“coupled with the requirement of a lower standard of proof, indisputably tips the playing field against the accused, making the disciplinary process anything but “equitable.”’
That Lhamon is personally biased against students accused of sexual harassment is indicated by evidence she “played a key role in the infamous Rolling Stone rape hoax,” which conveniently dovetailed with Lhamon’s preferred narrative that our nation’s campuses are hotbeds of depravity. Last week, OCR’s public list of open investigations of purportedly recalcitrant colleges and universities had reached 300, while students who appear to have been wrongfully accused continue to file lawsuits at the rate of at least one each week, and their success rate is improving. Hundreds of traumatized students and their families have sought support and guidance from FACE.
In an effort to guarantee continued enforcement of misguided and illegal OCR Title IX policies, on January 4, 2017, Obama appointed Harvard’s controversial Title IX officer Mia Karvonides as OCR’s head Title IX enforcement officer. Not only have Ms. Karvonides’ radical sexual harassment policies raised the ire of two dozen Harvard law professors who argued the policies “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process,” and “are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused,” but Harvard students also criticized Karvonides’ explanation of “unwelcome conduct” as unintelligible. This is hardly surprising, as the Obama administration’s definition of “unwelcome conduct” is similarly vague and expansive (“name-calling, graphic or written statements”), and inexplicably instructs campuses to disregard whether or not a subjectively offensive act was intended to harm.
Not to be outdone, on January 5, 2017, Vice President Biden issued his own letter to the nation’s colleges and universities exhorting them to continue implementing the disastrous effects of OCR’s aggressive Title IX enforcement policies. Biden’s letter relies on the repeatedly discredited one-in-five-college-women-are-assaulted statistic, even as his linked January 2017 “Guide” cites a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study which showed non-students of the same age group are 1.2 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than are college students.
As a representative of hundreds of students adversely impacted by the Obama administration’s ill-conceived campus sexual harassment policies, FACE urges congress to take immediate and decisive action to counteract any and all efforts to prolong enforcement of those policies, and to restore civil rights on campus.
FACE advocates for equal treatment and due process for those affected by sexual misconduct allegations on campus and to support those students and their families through outreach and education. www.facecampusequality.org
The outgoing administration is giving defenders of due process a giant middle finger on its way out. Obama appointed the outgoing head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Catherine Lhamon, to a six-year term as chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Lhamon is the last person you want defending the civil rights of Americans, particularly any group that is considered marginalized…Harvard’s first universitywide Title IX coordinator, Mia Karvonides, was just hired as OCR’s enforcement director. She has a record of conflict with people who actually care about fair procedures in high-stakes adjudications.
thecollegefix.com By Greg Piper
No longer content to deny due process to university students facing often unsubstantiated or false accusations of sexual harassment and assault, activists now aim to destroy any hope for them to transfer to other colleges and universities…Speier’s bill arrives at a time of growing recognition that college campuses have already lost credibility in their handling Title IX violations. Under the policies that many colleges have implemented, accused students are not given copies of the incident report or other evidence against them, and not allowed to call witnesses on their behalf. On many campuses, they are denied full legal representation and the right to cross-examine witnesses. The bill would create a new “check the box” requirement specifically for the transcripts of the (mostly) male students who have become ensnared in Title IX’s ever-expanding net for campus “sex crimes.”
nationalreview.com By Anne Hendershott