Due Process

In California, Mandatory Minimums for College Sex Crimes Almost Became a Thing

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes another terrible campus due process bill.



The state of California has obligated universities to adjudicate sexual assault under an unworkable affirmative consent standard, it has instructed high schools to teach teenagers that consensual sex requires affirmative consent, and it has tried to force colleges to expel students found guilty of violating these absurd policies. But the last of these policies will not become law, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of Assembly Bill 967.

The bill would have established mandatory minimum sentences for students found responsible of sexual misconduct by a university tribunal, essentially requiring two-year suspensions as the default punishment. In his letter announcing the veto, Brown explained that the bill was unnecessarily meddlesome:

It is eminently reasonable to expect that discipline shall not vary based on a student's status as an athlete or a declared area of study. This bill, however, could deprive professionals from using their better judgment to discipline according to relevant circumstances. Moreover, it creates an expectation that the state should recommend minimum penalties for violations of specific campus policies. …

I don't think it's necessary at this point for the state to directly insert itself into the disciplinary and governing processes of all private and nonprofit colleges in California.

If only Brown had applied this quite reasonable logic to SB 967, a bill he signed that inarguably inserted the state into the disciplinary and governing process of all colleges in California by requiring them to adjudicate sexual assault using a standard spelled out by the legislature. This standard, the affirmative consent, "Yes Means Yes" standard, substitutes the better judgment of education professionals for the wisdom of politicians. Unfortunately, the standard tips the scales of justice against the accused, and will be a disaster for campus due process.

That said, Brown is also wrong that the judgment of education professionals in these matters is beyond reproach. These officials have no legal training and are ill-equipped to settle disputes in a manner that is fair to both the accuser and the accused. In fact, they are routinely accused of violating due process for falsely accused students, and of failing to achieve justice for actual victims.

A more logically sound veto letter from Gov. Brown would have read: "Neither California's legislators, not the administrators at the University of California, know the first thing about adjudicating sex crimes, and thus the matter should be left to actual courts." In lieu of such a concession, advocates for campus fairness should still savor a small victory: mandatory minimums for college sex crimes didn't just become a thing.

NEXT: Councilman Tasered in Texas over Crime of—Actually There Wasn't Even a Crime.

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  1. The new puritans, same as the old puritans. Oh wait, it’s because these are the same people who have been in the CA legislature since the Dinosaurs roamed the earth. I wonder when they’ll get back to backwards Satanic lyrics?

  2. substitutes the better judgment of education professionals for the wisdom of politicians

    Better? Really?

    1. I’m not really sure how you could re-order that statement and possibly come out with anything resembling the truth.

  3. Oh come on, sexual abuse in college campuses is perfectly reasonable moral panic. Extending the same line of thinking to high schools obviously goes too far!

  4. How long before someone not in college claims they were raped because they didn’t give affirmative consent, and becomes a poster child for latest “boo-hoo the system doesn’t work” when the prosecutor doesn’t automatically file charges?

  5. Little doubt this will be one of the first bills Governor Gavin Newsom signs into law after he’s appointed elected in 2018.

  6. What I tell my 2 sons: Don’t talk to anybody, no matter how they threaten you. The 5th amendment is still in effect.
    The first person you speak to (after me) is a lawyer. The first thing they tell you is never talk to the police.

  7. “has instructed high schools to teach teenagers that consensual sex requires affirmative consent”

    sounds like high school teachers are practicing law without a license.

    1. And incompetently, too.

      Because that’s not the law anywhere, with the exception of a few states that have tried to make it the law on college campuses only.

      1. Perhaps the school teachers should be forced to disclose that they’re not licensed attorneys.

  8. The state will now be issuing tickets for sex- like for the opera or to see a comic. If you want to fuck that boy or girl you have to drive, walk, or stagger to a sex booth on campus and look into a camera, get a motherfucking background check, take a blood test, fill out a questionnaire, and then get emotionally-consulted by a bored excessively-educated New Ager who reads crystals at Berkely and that will set you back 40 bucks for a fuck permit. Once your fucking asses are on a state approved list for fucking without issues you can get extra fucks for dimes. No probs.

    The point is to create a fuck history on state servers. The more fucking and zero rapes the cheaper the tickets to fuck. Sweet. Should make fucking like Facebook socializing. Really fucking boring.

    1. Yeah, not that easy. You (male) got to get permits for every sexual act. Which means interrupting sex every couple of seconds, for a couple of hours. Unless you have sex under immediate government supervision; which could narrow the interruptions down to minutes, each.

      1. Nothing is ever easy with the state so, yeah, I’ll take that in the teeth.

  9. Roll dices. Set up the state’s public universities with varying standards of sexual conduct and process. Then see how that affects which universities male and female professors, and male and female students choose, and what it does to educational excellence, job qualifications, enjoyment etc.

    1. While I’d derive much enjoyment from seeing laws evaluated in empirical trials, we both know that’s never going to happen.

  10. Over the mountain and through the woods. Wow.


    1. Leave Grandmother alone, you sicko!

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