Every defender of due process rights should take heart. Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos was asked whether she would uphold the Education Department’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter regarding campus sexual assault. DeVos didn’t give a “yes” or “no” response, but instead said she knew there were “a lot of conflicting ideas and opinions” surrounding the document. “If confirmed, I look forward to understanding the past actions and the current situation better and to ensuring that the intent of the law is actually carried out in a way that recognizes both the victim -the rights of the victims – as well as those who are accused.”
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow
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
If you’re male and 18 and waiting anxiously for your acceptance at a college or university the authors of The Campus Rape Frenzy would undoubtedly have two words of advice: Don’t go. If you do go and then have sex, your partner can accuse you of rape if you kiss her or reach for her hand without her permission. She can say she was afraid of you when she did give permission and was coerced. She can claim that after a single drink she was under the influence of alcohol and therefore unable to give consent and can make these claims months after the fact without you being aware that she has made them. Think that’s scary? What happens next is even worse.
freebeacon.com By Bruce Fleming
This is the one year anniversary of the Fox documentary that focused on three college males who were falsely accused. First, Occidental’s John Doe speaks about meeting Jane Doe, their night of sex and his TIX hearing when he was denied all rights. Second, Paul Nungesser’s lawyer speaks about his case. Paul was found innocent by Columbia and Law enforcement, but Paul was slandered viciously by celebrity seeking Mattress Girl. Third, University of Tennessee’s Corey Mock speaks about his TIX injustices. Eventually a court of law overturned UTC’s injustice. Here is the 41 min. documentary.
One of the few Duke undergraduates to protest the prosecution of the Duke lacrosse players was Stephen Miller of the class of 2007. Miller wrote multiple articles for the Duke Chronicle and spoke on multiple news programs criticizing the prosecutor and Duke administrators. After graduating in 2007 Miller worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill and in 2015 he worked for Trump’s campaign and has been the speechwriter for Trump’s major speeches. washingtonexaminer.com
‘When our peers are accused of heinous acts, we should be the first to demand they be given the presumption of innocence-their immutable right. Instead, from the first day, many immediately presumed the lacrosse players’ guilt and called for their punishment. Sadly, I imagine many will continue to do so.’ Stephen Miller’s 2006 piece in the Duke Chronicle
NPR, which happily recites the fake news that one-in-five college women are sexually assaulted has just published a handy guide on how to spot . . . fake news. NPR should follow its own guidelines, but of course when it comes to sexual assault, it doesn’t. A few of NPR’s guides for spotting fake news expose the utter folly in accepting the one-in-five stat:
The Supreme Court is set to hear a court case about bathroom access. A central issue is judicial deference to the positions of agencies under the President’s control. The Court is supposed to decide whether OCR’s interpretation of the phrase “on the basis of sex” is entitled to judicial deference. If so, the Court would effectively convert the executive agency’s informally expressed views into the law of the land and a letter from an OCR bureaucrat becomes law…The Court should take the occasion to say that a mere letter, whatever its content, does not merit judicial deference, precisely because it bypasses the process of public input that we should want the executive branch to adopt in forming views on important policies.
newyorker.com By Jeannie Suk Gersen
Republicans have promoted U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina to lead the House education and workforce committee next year. Rep. Foxx has expressed concern about Office for Civil Rights overreach. She frequently opposed regulations and proposals from President Barack Obama’s administration… From Rep. Foxx’s mouth to God’s ears: “I think you’ll see us do everything we can to roll back those rules and regulations. ”
charlotteobserver.com By Anna Douglas
This is a big case for the state of Washington. Student Mr. Arishi challenged his expulsion from Washington State University’s (WSU’s) doctoral program in Education, claiming the university failed to afford him a full adjudicative proceeding required by the Washington Administrative Procedure Act. The Court of Appeals agreed. “We reverse the superior court and the underlying agency order, award Mr. Arishi reasonable attorney fees, and remand for a full adjudication.” With this ruling, people accused of sex offenses on college campuses get a full hearing and are allowed to have an attorney speak and question the accuser. This decision is based on Washington law, and will not affect cases in other jurisdictions.
seattletimes.com By Katherine Long
Adoption of the Dear Colleague letter in 2011-coupled with campus pressure from activists and their faculty and administrative allies-has paved the way for all sorts of procedural abuses in campus sexual assault cases. The latest example comes in a lawsuit filed against Williams College. This case was unusual…one of its employees had leveled serious, uncorroborated allegations against a student with whom she’d had an inappropriate romantic relationship. The complaint claims Dean Bolton assured her that Doe’s expulsion was virtually assured, despite firm college rules that preclude someone in Bolton’s position discussing another student’s disciplinary proceedings with someone in the employee’s position.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson