Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett Condemns Purdue University's 'Fundamentally Unfair' Adjudication of Sexual Assault Claims

The opinion, which suggests a strong concern about due process, will nevertheless be cited as evidence of the SCOTUS nominee's "uniformly conservative" record.

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John and Jane, two students in Purdue University's Navy ROTC program, began dating in the fall of 2015 and had consensual sex 15 to 20 times. According to John, Jane's behavior became increasingly erratic, culminating in a suicide attempt he witnessed that December. They broke up in January 2016, after John tried to get Jane help by reporting her suicide attempt to two resident assistants and an adviser.

Three months later, in the midst of the university's s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Jane alleged that John had sexually assaulted her on two occasions. Those charges ultimately led Purdue, a state university in West Lafayette, Indiana, to suspend John for a year, forcing him to resign from ROTC and ending his plans for a career in the Navy. The process that led to those results, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett concluded in a 2019 opinion for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, "fell short of what even a high school must provide to a student facing a days-long suspension."

The case, which Ben McDonald covered here last year, illustrates the extent to which universities, responding to a 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter from the U.S. Department of Education, created procedures that effectively presumed the guilt of students charged with sexual assault. That letter warned university officials that their handling of such cases would be scrutinized under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. The department broadened the definition of "sexual harassment," required schools to assess charges based on a "preponderance of the evidence" (meaning they are more likely than not to be true) rather than a stricter standard, and encouraged other short cuts by universities keen to maintain federal funding.

The upshot was that many students facing sexual assault charges did not receive anything resembling due process. The plaintiff in this case, identified in court documents as "John Doe," was accused of digitally penetrating his then-girlfriend, identified as "Jane Doe," while she was asleep and, on another occasion, groping her over her clothes, also while she was asleep. John denied both accusations, citing Jane's continued friendly texts with him after both alleged incidents, noting that a roommate who was present on one of those occasions denied that anything like what Jane described had happened, and offering the testimony of character witnesses. He also suggested that Jane was angry with him because he reported her attempted suicide, an intervention that had precipitated their breakup.

But John never really got a chance to present a defense, because university officials had already made up their minds. Barrett's description of what happened is based on John's account, because at this stage of the case she was deciding whether he had stated legal claims against the university that he should be allowed to pursue, assuming the facts he alleged were true. But most of the facts, especially as they relate to the university's biased process for investigating sexual assault allegations, are undisputed.

Although Jane never filed a formal complaint and never testified about the alleged assaults, the university pursued the case on her behalf. John said he first heard about the allegations when he received a letter from Katherine Sermersheim, Purdue's dean of students and a Title IX coordinator. At that point, Barrett notes, "John was suspended from the Navy ROTC, banned from all buildings where Jane had classes, and barred from eating in his usual dining hall because Jane also used it."

Sermersheim charged two underlings with investigating Jane's allegations. Their report was submitted to a three-person panel of Purdue's Advisory Committee on Equity, which was responsible for recommending how the university should respond. John was not allowed to see the full report, but a Navy ROTC representative gave him a redacted version a few minutes before John was scheduled to appear before the committee. John discovered that the investigators claimed he had confessed—which was not true, he said—and that they had omitted any reference to Jane's suicide attempt, which was relevant in evaluating her credibility and her possible motive for making false charges.

John and the "supporter" he was allowed under Purdue's rules met with the advisory committee for half an hour. "The meeting did not go well for John," Barrett notes. "Two members of the panel candidly stated that they had not read the investigative report. The one who apparently had read it asked John accusatory questions that assumed his guilt. Because John had not seen the evidence, he could not address it. He reiterated his innocence and told the panel about some of the friendly texts that Jane had sent him after the alleged assaults. The panel refused John permission to present witnesses, including character witnesses and a roommate who would state that he was present in the room at the time of the alleged assault and that Jane's rendition of events was false."

A week later, John received a letter in which Sermersheim said she had found him guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. She suspended him for a full academic year and conditioned his return to school on completion of "bystander intervention training" and meetings with Purdue's Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education, which supports victims of sexual violence.

John appealed Sermersheim's decision to Alysa Rollock, Purdue's vice president for ethics and compliance, who asked Sermersheim to explain the factual basis for her finding. Sermersheim said she had found John guilty based on her assessment of his credibility and Jane's. "I find by a preponderance of the evidence that [John] is not a credible witness," she wrote. "I find by a preponderance of the evidence that [Jane] is a credible witness." Although Jane never appeared before the advisory committee and Sermersheim never talked to her in person, that assessment was good enough for Rollock, who confirmed Sermersheim's ruling and the sanctions that accompanied it.

John, who was forced to leave Navy ROTC because of that decision, sued Sermersheim, her investigators, Rollock, Purdue President Mitch Daniels, and the university's trustees in 2017, arguing that his treatment violated the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process and Title IX's ban on sex discrimination. After a federal judge dismissed all of his claims, Barrett and two other 7th Circuit judges concluded that John's due process and Title IX claims against the university should have survived.

Regarding the due process claim, the judges found that the damage to John's career plans affected a "liberty interest" protected by the 14th Amendment. And taking the facts stated by John as true, they said, it was clear that Purdue's procedures fell short of due process.

"John received notice of Jane's allegations and denied them, but Purdue did not disclose its evidence to John," Barrett wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. "Withholding the evidence on which it relied in adjudicating his guilt was itself sufficient to render the process fundamentally unfair."

There were other problems with Purdue's process. "At John's meeting with the Advisory Committee, two of the three panel members candidly admitted
that they had not read the investigative report, which suggests that they decided that John was guilty based on the accusation rather than the evidence," Barrett noted. "And in a case that boiled down to a 'he said/she said,' it is particularly concerning that Sermersheim and the committee concluded that Jane was the more credible witness—in fact, that she was credible at all—without ever speaking to her in person. Indeed, they did not even receive a statement written by Jane herself, much less a sworn statement. It is unclear, to say the least, how Sermersheim and the committee could have evaluated Jane's credibility."

Sermersheim and the committee also gave short shrift to John's countervailing evidence. "Sermersheim and the Advisory Committee may have concluded in the end that John's impeachment evidence did not undercut Jane's credibility," Barrett wrote. "But their failure to even question Jane or John's roommate to probe whether this evidence was reason to disbelieve Jane was fundamentally unfair to John." And because Jane never testified, John never had a chance to cross-examine her.

In these circumstances, Barrett and the two other judges concluded, John should be able to seek an injunction requiring the university to expunge its finding of guilt from his disciplinary record, thereby removing a crucial obstacle to his career plans. They also found his allegation of sex discrimination plausible.

John argued that the Education Department's 2011 guidance, which Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has reversed precisely because of concerns about its impact on due process, gave Purdue a financial incentive to slant its adjudication process against male students like him. While the letter might be relevant in evaluating Purdue's motive, Barrett said, it was not enough, by itself, to make John's sex discrimination claim credible.

But Barrett noted additional evidence cited by John, including the fact that "Sermersheim chose to credit Jane's account without hearing directly from her." According to John's lawsuit, the advisory committee was "similarly biased in favor of Jane and against John." Barrett thought it was "plausible that Sermersheim and her advisors chose to believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John
because he is a man."

Barrett also noted a Washington Post article that Purdue's Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE) "put up on its Facebook page during the same month that John was disciplined." The headline: "Alcohol Isn't the Cause of Campus Sexual Assault. Men Are." That statement, "which CARE advertised to the campus community, could be understood to blame men as a class for the problem of campus sexual assault rather than the individuals who commit sexual assault," Barrett wrote. Notably, CARE's director wrote a letter about Jane's charges that "Sermersheim apparently gave significant weight."

None of this necessarily means that John will ultimately win his lawsuit, which remains unresolved. But Barrett thought he should at least get a chance, and her reasoning reflects a concern about due process that should be welcomed by people on the left as well as the right.

That probably will not happen, however. Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times, cites John Doe v. Purdue University in an article that says Barrett "has compiled an almost uniformly conservative voting record in cases touching on abortion, gun rights, discrimination and immigration." He mentions the case under the "discrimination" heading, implying that her position reflected insensitivity to that concern. But leaving aside the fact that John claimed he was a victim of sex discrimination, Barrett's opinion is mainly about due process, the lack of which may or may not have been related to John's sex but should in any case trouble any fair-minded person.

Liptak contrasts Barrett with her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked in the late 1990s. "While Justice Scalia's methods occasionally drove him to liberal results, notably in cases on flag burning and the role of juries in criminal cases," he says, "Judge Barrett could be a different sort of justice." There is not much evidence to support that distinction, especially given Barrett's opinions in cases involving the Fourth Amendment, excessive federal sentences, and qualified immunity for police officers. And if upholding the due process rights of someone facing sexual assault charges does not count as a "liberal result," the term has lost all meaning.

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154 responses to “Amy Coney Barrett Condemns Purdue University's 'Fundamentally Unfair' Adjudication of Sexual Assault Claims

  1. Did you see some progressives are calling her a racist because she adopted two black Haitian children?

    1. https://twitter.com/DrIbram/status/1309916696296198146

      “Some White colonizers “adopted” Black children. They “civilized” these “savage” children in the “superior” ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity.”

      Mentally ill or sociopath, I’m not sure.

      1. I guess those kids would be better off growing up without a family in a Haitian orphanage. How very thoughtless of her.

        1. I bet Haitian orphanages build character.

      2. They’re just broken inside and outside.

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      3. This is kendi the Marxist anti-capitalist, anti-racist prophet being supported by some of the worlds most successful capitalists, including Jack Dorsey. This is scary shit

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        1. I don’t know how much of an anti-capitalist he is, given his exorbitant speaking fees.

          1. Like all good Marxists, he’s a hypocrite.

        2. Jack Dorsey is one hippie who’s way the fuck out of his depth.

          -jcr

      4. He is a filthy racist. That is the nicest thing I can think to say about him.

      5. “Mentally ill or sociopath, I’m not sure.”

        Sociopathy is mental illness, so…

    2. That is absurd and unsurprising. Anything any white person does will be seen as racist by these people. Even doing all the dances and saying the right words doesn’t absolve you of your racism.
      I also suspect the people making that complaint are likely outnumbered by progressives who have adopted black children.

      1. Unrelated but the wife was watching some movie about having kids, a white/hispanic couple are trying to adopt a black kid and they are giving them so much shit about why they are trying to adopt this black kid and giving them the 3rd degree, and the husband goes “well they were all out of white kids” …love it

        Seriously they are beyond saving. Everything white people do is part of systemic racism and inherently bad, even when being an “ally”. No one is pure enough, nothing is good enough. They made their own bed.

        1. not bad but the best interracial adoption scene is from Thief…

          Mrs. Knowles: The point is, we establish criteria for parenting, and an ex-convict compared to other desirables…
          – Frank: Great, so we’ll take a kid that’s not so desirable. You got a black kid? We’ll take a black kid. You got a chink kid?
          – Mrs. Knowles: You don’t seem to understand…
          – Frank: Nobody likes older kids. You got an eight-year old black chink kid, we’ll take him

          1. These idiots are going to segregate themselves and then bitch because white people aren’t begging to integrate with them.

            Like I said in an earlier thread, people like Kendi couldn’t tie their own shoes if a white person didn’t buy them the shoelaces. They know their whole livelihood is based upon liberal whites indulging them, which is why they’re so angry to begin with.

          2. Speaking as a white guy who adopted a teenaged girl from another country who is not white, I can say that no one I’ve ever witnessed make the argument this Kendi fuckhead is making would never themselves adopt a child. People who would and who do adopt never say shit like this. My daughter’s opinion on adoption is that it’s 100% awesome.

            1. *ever themselves

            2. Do you even realize the damage that you have done to her? Giving her a loving home with parents who sacrifice to make her life better is inherently racist and colonialist. The nuclear family is a core value of racist western society and must be disavowed. Don’t you even BLM?

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      2. Anti-racism is their new sect in the leftist religion, complete with original sin.

      3. Because they have relied on accusations of “racism” are one of the most powerful attacks they can make, they will use even where it does not apply, because their ability to make actual arguments has atrophied.

    3. They aren’t adopted. They are monocle polishers.

      1. Don’t tell Rufus. Canada has a shortage of monocle polishers due to their racist anti immigrant policies.

        1. I don’t think they have monocle polishers in the Great White North. Them as would be are employed shining up hockey trophies. Pity they haven’t had the Big One in so long.

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    10. Yeah, I’d love to see her eldest daughter bitch-slap the race-baiting piece of shit who pulled that out of his ass.

      -jcr

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  2. The insinuations aren’t racism exactly. The insinuation is that some adoptions from Haiti are “sketchy”, so it’s like she bought her kids or something. I think someone threw around the word, “colonialism”.

    It’s stooping pretty low.

    1. Yes. that’s what I got out of it. But still low.

      Like they even care about Haitians kids. It only matter when it serves their political nonsense. Like ‘Muh Kurds’.

    2. So youre repeating insinuations you believe are wrong to continue to promote them? Yet you were against any defense of Rittenhouse despite video…

    3. Give it a rest, JesseAz. I already said that I think Coney Barrett seems like a suitable nominee for Justice, I repeated the same information as several other commenters here in direct answer to soldiermedic’s question, and I was clearly expressing disdain for the insinuations.

      Nice try.

      1. Fair enough.

      2. I repeated the same information as several other commenters here in direct answer to soldiermedic’s question

        No, you didn’t. You utterly and completely misrepresented the “insinuations”, which are not insinuations but very clear and unambiguous accusations. They are quoted in full above, and anyone with a rudimentary understanding of basic English knows that you lied. You lied to soft peddle the reality of the accusations against Barrett because you are a partisan piece of fucking shit.

        and I was clearly expressing disdain for the insinuations

        No, you weren’t. You did not challenge the “insinuations” in any way. You lied about the nature of the “insinuations” in order to soft peddle how utterly despicable and insane they are. And you offered absolutely no criticism of anyone who proffered said “insinuations” because you are a partisan piece of fucking shit.

        Little tip for you, it’s better if you don’t blatantly lie about your own words WITHIN THE SAME FUCKING THREAD they were posted. Wait until the next day and claim you said something different, like you do when you’re on your chemjeff sock.

      3. TWK is right here. Just because he/she (don’t know the sex of the author) can express what happened, it does not mean there is any agreement in the claims.

        If TWK does something wrong, calling TWK out on it is fine. This…this is not.

    4. The insinuations aren’t racism exactly. … I think someone threw around the word, “colonialism”.

      Since they believe colonialism is racism this is a distinction without a difference.

  3. She’s just a fantastic jurist and perfect for the Supreme Court.

    Any republican that votes her down deserves to be kicked out of office. I expect the democrats will shit all over themselves trying to grandstand on TV. That is their wont but know that all of America is watching, and may just yet vote the democratic scumbags out of office for their transgressions.

    1. She’s ‘too Catholicky’.

      They’ll play that up. And show how bigoted they really are.

      I mean, Hoe Harris called the Knights of Columbus racist or something. Weren’t the Kennedys part of it?

      1. Apparently, Joe Biden is just the right amount of “Catholicky”.

        1. He makes the cafeteria selections they approve of.

      2. Believing that human rights are universal is too religious for the Democrats.

    2. At this moment, I’m still trying to get over Sullum not upending his entire article with some of his, ‘but Trump also said some mean things about some people some time, so it’s both sides’ or, ‘but then there was another time she made a decision that…’

      I’d come to believe that Sullum simply couldn’t help himself cuz TDS or something, and then he surprises me with being able to stick to a subject.

    3. She was also just confirmed to the 7th circuit despite a public character assassination and unconstitutional religious test by senate Democrats. If she was qualified for service on the appellate court in 2017 it’s pretty hard to say she’s now disqualified from public service on the supreme court.

  4. This case sounds like something out of a dystopian anti-feminism screed. They found the girl more credible despite never hearing from her, not even in written form?

    1. wimyn
      victym

      Practically the same spelling, wouldn’t you agree?

    2. The woman didn’t even file a complaint.

      1. Well, they heard about it somewhere. Isn’t that enough?

      2. “Jane alleged that John had sexually assaulted her”

        This article does not address to whom she made this allegation; but apparently it is enough for “some one” [standing?] to convey this for you, and it just rolls from there. Since it closely followed his report of her suicidal behavior, I must assume it came from the university counseling service.

    3. I mean, one very clear lesson to take away from this is if you discover a female love interest is about to commit suicide… walk away.

  5. DUE PROCESS IS SEXIST

    1. And so very, very conservative!

      The wise progressives know the Truth, even if no one else does.

  6. Of course, Barrett and her colleagues didn’t say whether the allegations are correct…but if it should happen that they *are* correct, what’s wrong with these university administrators?

    1. “Alcohol Isn’t the Cause of Campus Sexual Assault. Men Are.”

      That should tell you all you need to know. Just as all white people are racists, all men are rapists.

      1. Especially white men. They are the worst. But it’s not racist or sexist to say that.

        1. I haven’t seen statistics but people who follow this allege that a very high proportion of men accused of sexual misbehavior are black.

          1. Accusing a black student of rape is apparently how some women retaliate for being turned down these days…

            -jcr

            1. Also, that German or Austrian white dude that mattress girl lied about.

              -jcr

          2. Not necessarily black, “of color”. This deals with people from other countries having difficulty navigating the body language given their expectations developed abroad. In fact though the most egregious cases have been against white men. Left leaning critics (Emily Yoffe, Jeannie Suk) throw in black male victims to protect themselves from the wokerati. As long as they claim to be protecting a group higher in the victim hierarchy they can defend themselves. If Drew Sterrett were the only victim they would be expected to let him be railroaded to make up for the patriarchy.

      2. Yeah, insert any other protected group in that slogan and…well, can you imagine?

      3. Their slogan isn’t even true. As a case study, the Marine Corps detachment on a base I was stationed at prohibited alcohol consumption (and I believe purchase) for ALL of their personnel and saw an 80% reduction in sexual assault in a single year.

        1. Did sexual assaults decrease, or did women cease reporting assaults when the investigation would reveal they were drunk in violation of regulations?

    2. Their job is not to determine whether the allegations were correct. Their job is to determine whether they were handled justly and within the law.

      1. “Their job is not to determine whether the allegations were correct.”

        Did I say it *was* their job?

  7. Of course, the “fundamental unfairness” is baked in the cake of the “Dear Colleague” letter – the law is vague enough that nobody knows quite what the hell it means so the Department of Education sends out this “advisory” letter that they can claim isn’t actually the law, it’s just “what you should do if you know what’s good for you” guidance on the law. Their hands are clean, they never said you had to do this, they never actually said “this is what the law is”, everything was just kind of…vague. And if you think the vagueness of the law was an accident, you’re a moron. The laws are specifically written vaguely enough that you can never be sure of which side of the law you’re on and the enforcers of the law always have the discretion of deciding which side of the law you’re on depending on how much kowtowing and forelock tugging you’ve done.

    1. It’s like with the “reasonable accommodations” you’re required to make for the disabled under the ADA. Who decides what’s “reasonable”, you or me? Don’t worry, you’ll find out at the trial what’s “reasonable”. There’s a whole bureaucracy at the EEOC contemplating the questions of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and what’s “reasonable”. And “reasonable” is of course an evolving standard – once you give them a little, it’s reasonable to assume you should give them a little more and a little more, until you gotta be a fucking retard to even think about hiring the handicapped.

      1. And “reasonable” is of course an evolving standard – once you give them a little, it’s reasonable to assume you should give them a little more and a little more, until you gotta be a fucking retard to even think about hiring the handicapped.
        Add public accommodation to the mix. I recall the pool closure crisis of 2012 when the government decreed all publicly accessible pools must have a fixed lift to be compliant. Mobile lifts were no longer enough. The government backed off some when pools threatened to close instead.

    2. What really irked me about this Dear Colleague fiasco was the state governments did not step up. I can understand in the Democratic controlled states but even in Republican ones like here in Texas. Most public universities get a heck of a lot more money from the State than the Feds, they could have mandate funding be contingent on a fair process but they just left the male students twisting in the wind whilst complaining about the process to the press.

      1. To your point, Mitch Daniels, a conservative, has been Purdue U.’s President since 2013. Perhaps because it’s a state school, he didn’t have a choice in terms of what to implement.

        1. he didn’t have a choice in terms of what to implement.

          He had a choice, he chose not to fight it.

  8. Well, she’s screwed, now.

    1. Not even close.

      1. But, but, but…Title IX is sacrosanct. Denying the holiness of the Dear Colleague letter is akin to blasphemy. For this, she will burn.

        1. The irony, of course, is that Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed about the importance of due process on college campuses.

          https://reason.com/2018/02/19/ruth-bader-ginsburg-due-process-me-too/

  9. He tells the school about her suicide attempts. Then she claims he sexually assaulted her.

    This looks like a textbook retaliation case.

  10. Principals, not principles, are what the Times is going by. If it were a case of deciding who owned a piece of property, the “conservative” would be the judge who ruled in favor of a man over a woman.

  11. “None of this necessarily means that John will ultimately win his lawsuit, which remains unresolved.”

    Well of course not since “John” is fundamentally screwed and his lawsuits will be thrown out because “qualified immunity” will prevail so there will be no expungement because “mootness” will win out at that point.

    1. No one at the university is a government employee.

      1. Given that Purdue is a public university, everyone with a job there is a government employee.

        1. Not the Trustee’s. Not to mention he is also suing the university itself I am sure. I am sure they will try and settle as they don’t want a lawyer sniffing around looking for any dirt they can find.

  12. While one neo-progressive faction works endlessly to give credence to any rape claim, even provably false claims, the other WhiteAntifa/blm faction works to decriminalize rape after discovering so many sexual assailants in their ranks.

    1. It all depends on who the rape charge is against.

      Dr. Ford “Believe her!!!”

      Tara Reade “Liar!!!”

      1. Well, except Dr. Ford didn’t even have an accusation of attempted rape. Her accusation was that he made her uncomfortable and fearful for what might happen based on wrestling around with her on a bed with the door closed, so she left. And maybe he touched her boob through her clothes.

        Reade claimed actual digital rape. And unlike Ford, Read has contemporaneous accounts of her story and some evidence that retaliation was made against her for reporting it. (there is also quite a bit of categorical denials by people present at the time, as well as some sketchiness as to time and place).

        Nonetheless, we continue to “believe” that Kavanaugh has been “credibly accused” of being a serial gang rapist while there has never even been any accusations against Biden of any impropriety. Just ask Snopes or Factcheck.org. They have fully vetted the facts, so you can bank on it.

  13. If due process is now considered a conservative stance, that’s further evidence that Reason may have been backing (or flogging) the wrong horse since 2016.

    Other than in the minds of Reason’s staff, are there any libertarians present who disagree with the statement that progressives present the greatest threat to our liberty?

    1. Its even better. Now the blue check marks are wondering how a mother of 7 can dare to have a day job.

      1. What is this in reference to?

        1. If you don’t know, no one here can possibly help you.

    2. Progressives and the right are about equal threats to our liberty.

      1. We knew you could show up with some bullshit claim about ‘both sides’, and as a pedantic asshole, you didn’t disappoint.
        Were you born a pedantic asshole, or did you spend long years working to become such a pathetic piece of shit?

        1. Perhaps he is looking at things from a longer range perspective rather than an “at this moment in time” perspective. At this moment in time, “progressives” may pose the biggest threat to our liberty. But remember, just a short time ago, during Bush’s reign, it was the Patriot Act, endorsing torture, the Iraq War, telling us we needed to give up freedom to be safe, and attacks on the Bill of Rights. If we manage to get through this present crisis intact, at some point, it could go the other way. It doesn’t pay to allow either major party too much power. (And btw….namecalling…..does zilch to make your case.)

      2. That is laughable at this moment in history.

  14. Due process is so 1776

  15. Liptak…..NYT? Wow another jewish journalist attacking a catholic for get this standing up for the 14th amendment…nothing to see here…those darn catholics..such terrible people..and if they are irish or italian boy they are really really bad..they all support Trump

  16. OT: the latest TDS hysteria on twitter is two simultaneous conflicting ideas: 1. Trump is broke and 2. Trump’s income tax avoidance

    I don’t think it’s a lack of brains in this case, I think the Dem talking point people are just jadedly and possibly drunkenly phoning it in at this point. “well, I guess it’s that time to dredge up the ol’ tax return shtick…” *heavy, depressed sigh* *grabs bottle of wine*

    1. “…1. Trump is broke…”

      First guy to ever leave the WH with less wealth than he had when he arrived.
      Damned trickery if you ask me! I’ll bet he doesn’t even try to steal the WH silverware!
      Why can’t he be as crooked as Biden and the Clintons?

      1. Obama’s net worth is now as high as $135 million. Not bad for a Community Organizer. And then there’s the Clinton Foundation…

        Why hasn’t Trump done that? The art of the deal indeed.

        1. “…And then there’s the Clinton Foundation…”

          Sorry, that’s “Clinton Foundation”, in scare quotes, properly.
          You didn’t think the kid was supposed to look for an actual job, did you?
          Neither Bubba nor the hag ever did hold down a job; they have both slopped at the public trough since day one and certainly don’t expect their offspring to have to produce anything of value.

          1. Trump personally owes over $400 million. This guy’s response is but what about the Clintons?

            1. Did you have a point other than to make clear that you happen to be a financial ignoramus?

            2. Let’s make your idiocy even more clear:
              Do you have a mortgage? Didn’t think so; those who rent double-wides rarely consider owing more than their annual income, and in your case, I’m guessing that’s probably in the double-digits and your credit card debt is probably scaring you, right, scumbag?
              So, your claim (unsupported) that Trump owes $400m? Well:

              “As of September 2020, Donald Trump has an estimated net worth of around $4 billion.”
              https://www.bing.com/search?q=trump%27s+net+worth+2020&qs=LS&pq=trump%27s+net+w&sc=8-13&cvid=146BBD4C96584B278D11190BC87DDE0E&FORM=QBLH&sp=1

              So, fucking, what, asshole TDS victim?

              1. Net worth means this is above what he owes, for the Tonys And Serenity Nows of the world.

            3. “Trump personally owes over $400 million”

              I suspect he personally owes very little at all, but his businesses…

              1. The TDS assholes commenting here have no experience with any business activity at all; they assume:
                1) Get business license
                2) Something
                3) Put the profits in the bank
                Hint:

                “What percentage of businesses fail?”
                (search wordpress; Reason’s pathetic software is scared)

                Which is a good reason to separate personal and business activity.

    2. Those two things don’t conflict.

      1. “Those two things don’t conflict.”

        Correct.
        They simply show the claim to be false, and I’d expect a pathetic piece of shit like you to offer some pedantic bullshit.
        And you DID!
        Proud of yourself, pedantic bullshitter?

        1. When you’re a bird named Dee, you squawk. It’s what you do.

    3. Some guy on reddit nicely summarized the New York Times article.

      “To summarize the NYT story: Trump got a bunch of $ from his daddy. He lost it all, but then he got paid hundreds of millions to play a billionaire on TV. He tried to use that $ to become a real billionaire, but he lost it all again. Now he’s starting over, but we’re his daddy.”

      1. Oh, goody! An asshole TDS victim citing someone on reddit?
        Did your brains leak and then you turned into a lefty shit, or was it required they be vacuumed out to join the lefty idiot conference?

      2. So a Harry Turtledove kind of alternate history thing?

      3. “…Now he’s starting over, but we’re his daddy.”

        BTW, shitstain, just upthread, you claim he’s broke. Here’s a shovel; keep digging.
        Never deny a lefty pile of shit a way to keep making that holwe deeper.

    4. tax avoidance
      Something that is legal, ethical and common. I do it with my 401k, HSA and transportation account. In the past I itemized before the standard deduction was increased.

      1. I saw it on Reddit. I can’t fathom if it’s incidentally stupid or wilfully stupid. They guy only paid $750 in income taxes because he didn’t get paid an income. This is the tax system Redditors voted for and that guys like Tony Robbins, Robert Kyosaki, and Tim Ferriss has been subverting for the better part of a century if not longer.

  17. off topic…who is a bigger bloviating intellectual dilettante…Andrew Sullivan or George Will?

    1. Will, by the proverbial country mile.

    2. Will, but Sullivan can be as big a whore when the passion hits.

      1. interesting . but i do feel that if you took Wikipedia away from Andrew and thus his ability to make facile historical comparisons in his articles…we would just never again see another AS article

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  20. And if upholding the due process rights of someone facing sexual assault charges does not count as a “liberal result,” the term has lost all meaning.

    Right, it was co-opted by Stalinists and their excuse-makers long ago, which is why those of us actually in favor of things like liberty and due process had to switch to “libertarian”. Where have you been the last ninety years?

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  22. So who are Sykes and St. Eves, the other two judges who affirmed this decision? Have the Democrats gone after them too?

    1. They are both W Bush appointees and both women.

      1. Judge Sykes used to be married to pundit Charles (Profscam) Sykes, now of The Bulwark, the Never Trumpers bolthole. {He did her wrong.}

  23. (cross post from the article on civil forfeiture)

    “That practical reality contradicts the foundational principle that a person is innocent—and thus shall not be punished—until proven guilty.”

    How many people truly believe this? Clearly none of the righteous do, especially those who violate their ideological morality. For conservative puritans, anyone accused of drug use or sales is guilty. For Title IX feminists, anyone accused of campus sexual assault (and those who question what constitutes assault) is guilty. For the new progressive race-baiters, anyone not marching in solidarity–or even anyone not of the self-proclaimed oppressed race–is guilty.

    Like most other revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment, which suggested that people should strive to be better than primitive human instinct and superstition, objective assessment of guilt and innocence may have been a passing fad.

    1. For conservative puritans, anyone accused of drug use or sales is guilty.

      Huh? Nixon is popularly credited with starting the War on Drugs and he’s hardly a conservative puritan. I’d agree that conservative puritans unfamiliar with the prevalence of drug use/abuse were more susceptible to narratives predisposing conviction of possessors/users but that’s more on the LEOs/DAs presenting it as such than it is on the conservative puritans themselves.

      Seems to me that you have a solid case wrt Title IX and race-baiting and are trying to lump conservative puritans in because your friends might worry that you aren’t enough of a douchebag if you don’t.

      1. The national drug laws date to the 19-teens. Harrison? A Democratic “Progressive.” He was a protege of Wilson, who signed his Act into law. Statists on “both sides of the aisle” have been prohibitionists.

    2. Nixon buried the Republic with his monetary insanity which has led to so many problems today..the idea that you don’t have to actually pay for govt with taxes but with the Fed’s printing press. Ike was a great president but picking Nixon was a huge mistake..should have gone with Robert Taft.

  24. Boy. Just when I thought that the Washington Post couldn’t go any more DNC newsletter, They’ve turned the innuendo dial up to 11, against both Trump and Barrett.

  25. Couldn’t find anywhere else to put this. I would like to see a report on what would happen if the election ended up in the Supreme Court with only 8 votes. Under normal circumstances the decision of the lower court stands when the decision is tied. If this happens in two different districts with two different decisions then the lower courts result only bind the courts in that district.

    Could a situation arise where the rulings have an effect on the election where both candidates are declared a winner in different courts?

  26. She’s right on this one. Appalling lack of due process.

    1. We shouldn’t fill the seat before the election because Trump is going to try and appeal it to the Supreme Court when he loses. A Supreme Court decision decided by a majority appointed by him would necessarily result in a civil war.

      Better to leave the seat open until after the election is over.

      The reality is that the Democrats are going to pack the court in some way in retaliation for Mitch McConnell’s malfeasance. It’s going to be ugly.

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  28. You have to realize Ms Barrett has the following against her..she is a catholic, someone who personally doesn’t believe in abortion and is a supporter of natural rights even if that means unequal outcomes…for the left and the left who controls the media (again these folks tend to be very universe) these are red flags. Abortion because it allows the breakup of traditional “christian values” in their mind, Catholic because well..old world grudges again come into play here and natural rights if they lead to unequal outcomes..again not align with their bolshevik/ communist views. A small minority with too much influence/money is the problem. We just need to ignore these bigots…ending the Fed would also take their funding away from the Wall Street Woke/Social Media Wokes…

    This really is a conflict of liberty versus communism.

    1. Commies never cared about unequal outcomes, that’s just what they tell the rubes while they’re trying to accumulate power.

      -jcr

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  30. And if upholding the due process rights of someone facing sexual assault charges does not count as a “liberal result,” the term has lost all meaning.

    You mean left wingers aren’t liberals? Well look who just caught up.