Two former members of the University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have a strong enough defamation argument against Rolling Stone that the case should proceed to trial, an appeals court ruled Tuesday. The decision is a major blow to Rolling Stone‘s publisher, Jann Wenner and to Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the disgraced author of a now thoroughly debunked RS article about a gang rape on UVA’s campus. No one disputes that no such assault took place at Phi Psi. The question is whether Erdeley and her editors screwed up so colossally that the magazine can actually be held liable for defamation. And now, for a third time, a court has said, yes.
reason.com By Robby Soave
Positive legislation, Charges Dropped Against Males, Girls Charged for Making False Accusations
Two years ago, Miami University in Ohio, convicted one of its male students of sexual assault and banned him from the university. “John Nokes” as court documents refer to him, subsequently filed suit against the university, claiming he was denied his due process rights. A federal judge has now ruled in favor of his appeal. A week later, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a speech announcing the reversal of Obama-era changes to federal law regarding campus sexual assault. One would be hard-pressed to find a better illustration of the need for that reversal than how Miami University found John Nokes guilty of sexual assault. His is an appalling example of due process being suspended. Due process always counts and should never be suspended, for any higher purpose.
For the first time, it looks as if women’s voices coming from an entirely different quarter may actually have had more influence on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ thinking and policies. Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) was founded in 2013 by three mothers of sons who had been falsely accused of sexual misconduct at their respective colleges. FACE has built a formidable legal case and established itself as a serious political presence in the US. Earlier this year, representatives of FACE had a lengthy discussion in person with Betsy DeVos. The mothers who have banded together in FACE are part of a growing worldwide movement consisting of women speaking on behalf of men. On behalf of their sons, these women are demanding better treatment for boys in schools.
telegraph.co.uk By Neil Lyndon
A student who claims the University of Notre Dame wrongly expelled him in April- by conflating suicidal texts to a former romantic partner with “dating violence” – has found a sympathetic ear in federal court. In a motion for “partial summary judgment” last month, Doe sought relief based on “undisputed facts” that show the university violated his due process rights. The three-page letter requests that U.S. District Judge Philip Simon “hold as a matter of law that Notre Dame has breached its contract with Plaintiff.” The Catholic university’s chances of getting out of the lawsuit unscathed look questionable. It has met with attorneys for “John Doe” twice since July, in a “settlement conference.”
thecollegefix.com By Kayla Schierbecker
So you’re a thoughtful liberal and you have friends who voted for Trump – and you know for a fact that your friends are neither bigots nor buffoons. How could they feel so desperate, politically speaking, to cast their ballots for Trump? For a sense of the answer, look no further than Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s announcement Thursday that her department would revisit the Obama administration’s Title IX guidelines on campus sexual assault. The guidelines, she said, had “failed too many students” by radically curtailing due process. She’s right.
nytimes.com By Bret Stephens
The Department of Education will change its approach to campus sexual misconduct and begin a public notice and comment process to issue new regulations. In a speech today, Betsy DeVos decried “a system run amok,” “kangaroo courts” and repeatedly emphasized the plight of the accused. In an emotional address, DeVos told anecdotes about accused students contemplating, and committing, suicide. She mentioned a controversial case in which a University of Southern California football player was expelled for what his girlfriend says was merely “playful roughhousing.”
“Are you today rescinding the Obama administration guidelines?”…”Well, that’s the intention, and we’ve begun the process to do so,” DeVos responded. “And as I’ve said earlier, in all of this discussion, it really is a process not an event.” She reiterated, “But it is the intention to move beyond that and move towards a better way.
In a major speech assailing the deprivation of due process protections under the Obama administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will vow to rein in the federal guidance compelling colleges to adjudicate sexual assault disputes between students.
reason.com By Robby Soave
Four members of the Harvard Law School faculty have called on the U.S. Department of Education to revise the Obama Administration’s policies enforcing Title IX in matters of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college and university campuses. “Now is the time to build in respect for fairness and due process, academic freedom, and sexual autonomy.”
law.harvard.edu Scholars: Janet Halley, Jeannie Suk Gersen, Elizabeth Bartholet, and Nancy Gertner
“It feels like your entire world is crashing down around you.”
“It strips you of your future.”
“I attempted suicide.”
That’s how Jonathon Andrews, a former Hanover College student, describes the impact of being falsely accused of sexual assault in late November 2015. Andrews, 23, is fighting back as an advocate for the falsely accused. Perhaps now, more than ever, Andrews and others have Washington behind them in the person of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
cincinnati.com By Kate Murphy