Due Process

Biden Threatens to Revive Kangaroo Courts in College Sexual Assault Cases

The president has ordered the Education Department to consider rescinding reforms aimed at protecting the due process rights of accused students.

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In 2016, Purdue University imposed a one-year suspension on a student accused of sexual assault, forcing him to resign from ROTC and ending his plans for a Navy career. The process that led to those results, 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 adjudication procedures that Barrett, now a Supreme Court justice, described as "fundamentally unfair" grew out of Obama administration guidelines that the Trump administration rescinded and replaced with regulations aimed at restoring some semblance of due process. President Joe Biden is now threatening to revive the earlier policy, which encouraged universities to presume the guilt of students charged with sexual misconduct.

The Purdue student, identified as "John Doe" in court documents, began dating "Jane Doe" in 2015. According to John, Jane's behavior became increasingly erratic, culminating in a suicide attempt he witnessed that December.

The couple 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, Jane alleged that John had sexually assaulted her twice.

Although Jane never filed a formal complaint and never testified about the alleged assaults, the university pursued the case on her behalf. John first heard about the allegations when he received a letter from Purdue's dean of students.

At that point, Barrett noted, "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." John denied Jane's accusations, citing her continued friendly texts with him after the alleged incidents, offering countervailing testimony, and suggesting that Jane was angry with him because he reported her attempted suicide.

But John never really got a chance to defend himself. University officials, who falsely claimed he had confessed, refused to let him see the details of the charges against him, and they deemed Jane credible without talking to her in person.

Two members of the three-person committee charged with deciding John's fate admitted they had not even bothered to read the investigative report. John was not allowed to present witnesses or question Jane.

The Obama administration promoted such patently unfair procedures by warning universities that safeguards aimed at protecting the rights of accused students could mean trouble under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. In a 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter, the Department of Education told universities to adopt a weak standard of proof in sexual misconduct cases, "strongly" discouraged cross-examination of complainants, and required schools that allow appeals to let accusers challenge decisions rejecting their charges.

That advice, coupled with subsequent guidance and intensified enforcement, led to a surge in state and federal lawsuits by students like John Doe, who argued that public universities like Purdue were violating the constitutional right to due process or that private universities like Yale were flouting their contractual obligations. A 2019 review in the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy identified more than 500 such cases, noting that "colleges have more often than not been on the losing side."

In 2017, recognizing the threat to due process, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos withdrew her department's 2011 guidance. In 2020, she issued new regulations that protect the right to cross-examination, allow colleges to raise their standard of proof, and prohibit the practice of charging the same official with investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating sexual assault claims.

This month Biden, who played a key role in the 2011 guidance as Barack Obama's vice president, ordered the Education Department to consider "suspending, revising, or rescinding" DeVos' reforms. While critics such as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) consider the 2020 regulations "outrageous," the real outrage is the kangaroo courts that universities created under federal pressure.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. So we should presume the allegations against Biden are also correct?

    1. Does it matter? He’s a Democrat, so he gets a pass. Just like Cuomo.

      1. Cuomo is not getting a pass.

        1. Ten bucks says he does not resign, and is not removed. For a parley, ten more bucks says he runs for governor again. Trifecta? He wins.

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        2. Not being impeached. No punishment at all.

          Yup, dropping the fucking hammer.

        3. Cuomo was the one making passes.

        4. Sure.

          Cuomo hasn’t resigned because he still has support from Democratic voters

          New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is fighting to stay in office. He’s resisting calls from several Democrats to resign after multiple women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.

          While Cuomo may eventually be impeached and removed from office, he’s unlikely to step down if his poll numbers continue to look anything like they do now.
          The idea that Cuomo shouldn’t be governor is a much more popular idea among politicians than it is among voters.

  2. He’s been threatening this since well before the election, guys.

    https://reason.com/2020/05/07/biden-vows-to-destroy-campus-due-process-again-if-elected/

    1. To be fair, Biden talks so much shit that people had no way of knowing whether he meant this when he said it, or if he even knew that he said it. The fact is, Biden lies as much and as blatantly and as badly as Trump ever did, but somehow the lying is no longer a threat to our democracy.

    2. Hey, don’t forget…he doesn’t do as many mean tweets.

    3. Look, before the election, we were focused on returning to the status quo, a return to normalcy, being wrong within normal parameters. We weren’t actually listening to what Biden wanted to do. We had an orange bad man in the white house, and we were going to get rid of him, even if it meant cozying up to organizations whose principal aim was the destruction of the nuclear family and the complete elimination of global capitalism and private property. These are the sacrifices one had to make to get Orange Bad Man out of office. Everything happening in the here and now are just details in the long march towards a greater good.

      You’re either part of the #resistance, or you’re not. What side of history do you want to be on?

    4. Seriously…. They made it clear that this was the intention all along.

      I know the “we are going to mandate transgender women in women’s school athletics” think has taken the attention away from this issue, but it isn’t a surprise by any means.

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  4. Would you expect less than that from a dedicated communist? Terror is a good tool.

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  6. Why are we surprised? As the right was once grounded on traditional theocracy, with religious ideology that trumped enlightenment ideals including equality under the law, the left has embraced its own woke theocracy. And as with the right, their political priorities overrule any universal rights, especially equality. (In case you have not been paying attention, equity is far from equality.)

    1. Thus guilt or innocence, or any social-legal standing or status, is not based on what an individual did or did not do, but on what group that individual belongs to–and on the current ideological critique of that group.

    2. What is equality? I suspect you don’t really believe in it.

      1. Easy.

        Equality in a free society means that everyone gets equal treatment under the law.

        Equality in a nanny socialist society means everyone gets equal stuff.

        Equity is special privileges for select groups.

        I support the first option. Now, what do you believe in.

  7. Biden is doing exactly what we Koch / Reason libertarians elected him to do.

    #BelieveWomen
    #(ExceptTaraReade)
    #(AndCuomosAccusers)

  8. The Left operates on symbolism over substance. Doing “something” over doing what is right. Biden does not care how many people are damaged by this policy based on extremely flimsy claims as long as can say this is a sop to the feminists.

  9. Due process for Cuomo, but not for college students. Guess they don’t have the magic (D) behind their names.

    1. Low end Ds are screwed too. Cuomo was protected for decades because he was personally powerful within the party. All the left’s rules include exceptions for those who sufficiently help the cause, which is why Bill and Hillary were safe.

  10. That advice, coupled with subsequent guidance and intensified enforcement, led to a surge in state and federal lawsuits by students like John Doe, who argued that public universities like Purdue were violating the constitutional right to due process or that private universities like Yale were flouting their contractual obligations.

    None of this addresses the reason Devos’ reforms were incomplete thus allowing continued Title IX abuse.

    1. Title IX does not address sexual assault at all. This is the entirety of Title IX:

    No person in the United States shall, based on sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

    Sexual assault is not discrimination any more than murder and assault – victims of which are overwhelmingly male – are.

    2. From its inception to now Title IX enforcement has been staffed with the most extreme ideologues available. The most extreme cadre train the rest via consulting groups (ex: Know Your IX) whose materials include extreme and false claims such as that contradictory statements make the accusations more likely to be true. In fact the materials are so extreme Title IX groups refuse to release them publicly knowing this knowledge would undermine their legitimacy. The result is an investigatory apparatus which functions like the Spanish Inquisition: the rules change to whatever they need to be to ensure a conviction. Investigators routinely ignore exculpatory evidence and even argue before courts they have no responsibility to consider it or inform the accused. of the facts. The many cases demonstrate that these abuses are not outliers, this is how Title IX is designed to work. Otherwise these obvious failures would result in changes by the Title IX offices themselves. Instead those presiding over the most absurd cases are often promoted because they have proven their allegiance to the cause.

    Applying Title IX to sexual assault is corruption envisioned, coordinated, and implemented by culture war extremists to give women a weapon to punish men because they believe sexual dynamics unfairly favor men.

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  12. Sexual misconduct, a rather nebulous term but let’s say it encompasses the range from unwanted harassment to rape, is serious and ought to be punished. However, it can be very difficult to prove. Apparently, the solution is not to have to prove it. Just punish anyone accused of it and you’re bound to punish at least a few guilty guys. As for the unjustly punished? Think of it as being analogous to ancient human sacrifices to appease the gods. The Gods of Woke are being appeased in the only way they can be.

    1. The unjustly punished then get to beat the hell out of the institution in real court and collect enough damages to set themselves up for life. It’s OK, the institutions are boundlessly rich.

      1. Truth to power eh?

  13. i am still confused why we have these kangaroo courts vs using the court system and police we already have for such matters.

  14. It looks like people are tolerating Biden’s attack on the constitution.

    Reason did say tolerance was the panacea.

    1. Considering that most white boys going to college now are unsure of their gender, it’s obvious who these kangaroo courts are going to target-young black and brown men who still believe they are men. So how is this not racist?

      1. Yeah that white privilege guilt trip along with affirmative action racism and the meetoo cancel culture makes life so much better.

        Fucking stuff blacks are into.

      2. um… blacks are a consistent Democrat vote with over 80% male and over 95% female blacks voting for Democrats, so whether these kangaroo courts target them directly or not, they voted for them.

  15. I’m thanking Biden and company here for making things blatantly obvious: “They” (those in power, including Biden and Cuomo) don’t believe you (those not in power or those not willing to pony up $ to them) have any rights.

    Under Biden and the new Stalinist regime, you are assumed guilty unless somehow you manage to prove yourself innocent. End of story.

    Wake up, proletarians.

  16. Women in my parents’ and grandparents’ generations (born 1880s and 1910s) weren’t overall a bunch of whining helpless, almost useless parasites running constantly to the media and the cops over trivial and daydreamed non-events.
    They could evaluate and respond to circumstances, most could fight if necessary.

  17. What do you care sullum? The boogeyman is gone.

  18. Who cares?? MEAN TWEETS ARE GONE!

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