“There’s an old saying among lawyers: Justice is not the result, it’s the process.” Attorney Miltenberg says, “We give ourselves over to a system. We lose, we win. We hate losing, but you are able to at least say: ‘I couldn’t have asked the judge to do more than he did. He listened, he thought, he read.’ Here, [in campus Title IX proceedings] you are not having that experience.”.. In the past six months, two different professional attorneys’ associations have reviewed campus sexual-misconduct policy, and a third’s assessment is underway. They’ve come to different conclusions — one proposing higher standards of proof, another access to all evidence for accused students.
Dept.of ED.Title IX, OCR
Articles specific to Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX
Recently, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Republican members introduced legislation called the PROSPER Act to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The PROSPER Act includes several elements that were influenced by or were taken directly from a model bill offered by the due process group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, or SAVE. One of the most important requirements is that colleges ban “commingling of administrative or adjudicative roles” in proceedings. This would seem to ban so-called single-investigator models in which the same person who investigates also makes a finding and recommendation, sometimes without a hearing where accuser and accused can make their own cases.
Emboldened by the federal government, South Carolina students accused of sexual misconduct are taking colleges to court over disciplinary procedures they call unfair. Colleges have been using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for judging guilt, which essentially requires a 51 percent likelihood that an accusation is true. Critics said the policy had come at a cost to suspects’ civil rights because its low burden of proof bred false accusations. Tommy Brittain, a Myrtle Beach lawyer for a student at the center of the Coastal Carolina case, said the lawsuits are likely just the beginning of a push against a disciplinary process that can plague students forever, stating, “The policy is a complete mess, it’s an absolute nightmare. A guilty finding is not like a violation of a little school rule. It’s a life-changing decision.”
postandcourier.com By Andrew Knapp
The Education Department’s civil rights unit recently determined that Catholic University failed to uphold the rights of an accused male student, in violation of the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX. The report from the Office for Civil Rights is the result of a four year investigation into an incident that involved two students, alcohol and a dispute over sexual consent…The Trump administration has declared a shift in federal guidance on Title IX, saying it wants to work more closely with colleges to ensure the due-process rights of all students -including the accused – are protected in sexual violence cases.
washingtonpost.com By Nick Anderson
Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “The War Against Boys” and “Who Stole Feminism?,” has coined the term “victim feminism,” a school of thought she believes exaggerates the sexual assault problem. Ms. Sommers has argued all along that the Obama model didn’t work. We get her take on what the change means.
nytimes.com Interview by Stephanie Saulnov
“The problem hasn’t penetrated the public consciousness. People don’t know that a young man can be expelled from college without ever having received specific written notice of what he’s alleged to have done wrong.”…”I have not talked to a single young man who’s been through this who wasn’t suicidal, and you hear people say, ‘Well, if he’s a rapist, he should be suicidal.’ OK, but we don’t know he’s a rapist.”
reason.com By Robby Soave
Recently Biden criticized the Trump Administration and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for revisiting Title IX policies for sexual assault investigations on campus. But having represented more than 100 male students on campuses across the country, in both blue and red states, I have seen firsthand how wrongfully accused male students are being unfairly punished, with no opportunity to defend themselves. Recognizing the need to restore due process rights on college campuses, Secretary DeVos and the DoED announced major improvements to a broken system, including providing reasonable interim measures, eliminating double jeopardy, and requiring the consideration of exculpatory evidence. Unfortunately, her announcement was met with divisive political rhetoric and on-going protests.
www.nj.com By Andrew Miltenberg
Since 2011, the federal government has required all universities that receive federal money to provide “training or experience in handling complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence” to adjudicators and investigators. It makes sense to train those who are assigned to investigate campus sexual-assault allegations, but the ideological regimes used on campuses are designed more to stack the deck against accused students than to ensure a fair inquiry. “The biggest problem with these training materials, is that if the accuser comes in, contradicts herself and the evidence, all that gets explained away because of ‘trauma.’ Junk science like that makes it extraordinarily hard for students to defend themselves effectively,” says Justin Dillon, a lawyer who has defended dozens of students accused of sexual assault.
weeklystandard.com By Johnson and Taylor
A New York Times article provided a view into the distressing fight that mothers take on to clear their sons who are accused of sexual assault on campus. The stories of these women provide a fresh reminder that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was right to rescind the Obama Administrations guidelines about combating campus sexual assault. Those guidelines eroded rights of accused students and led to a perverse environment on campuses. In many cases, the young men are cleared, but their lives can’t return to “normal” because assault allegations have damaged their name, reputation, and career and education prospects. iwf.org By P. L. Onwuka
The Massachusetts Senate has voted unanimously in favor of a bill that looks like it would kill due process for those accused of sexual misconduct on campuses. Due process for the accused was almost eliminated in 2011 by Obama’s Department of Education, but Trump’s Secretary of Education rescinded Obama’s anti-due process guidelines in Sept. 2017. In Massachusetts, a number of lawsuits filed by accused parties in response to their treatment at the hands of colleges have seen settlements. In a federal complaint involving Brandeis University, Judge Saylor ripped Brandeis administrators for “appearing to have substantially impaired, if not eliminated, an accused student’s right to a fair and impartial process.”…Last month Democratic CA Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a measure to codify Obama’s 2011 guidelines.
iwf.org By Charlotte Hays