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Betsy DeVos Withdraws 'Dear Colleague' Letter That Weaponized Title IX Against Due Process

"These documents have led to the deprivation of rights for many students."

DeVosChris Kleponis/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomToday Education Secretary Betsy DeVos withdrew the Obama-era letter instructing colleges to use the preponderance of evidence standard when adjudicating sexual assault.

DeVos called the previous guidelines—distributed to colleges in 2011 as part of a "dear colleague" letter, then clarified in 2014—well-intentioned but flawed.

"These documents have led to the deprivation of rights for many students—both accused students denied fair process and victims denied an adequate resolution of their complaints," reads the new "dear colleague" letter, which was signed by Acting Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson and approved by DeVos.*

The previous guidance chipped away at due process in several ways. It lowered the burden of proof to a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which meant that accused students could be found responsible for sexual misconduct if administrators were only 51 percent convinced of the charges; it discouraged allowing the accused and accuser to cross-examine each other, reasoning that this could prove traumatizing for survivors of rape; and it stipulated that accusers should have the right to appeal contrary rulings, allowing accused students to be re-tried even after they had been judged innocent.

The letter correctly notes that the Obama-era interpretation of Title IX was never subjected to public notice and comment—an inappropriate course of action, given that the guidance was essentially a new rule rather than a clarification of an existing rule.

The Education Department is formulating a new approach to Title IX sexual misconduct adjudication. In the meantime, the public is invited to refer to an interim Q&A-style document.

Given the massive issues with Title IX enforcement on campus, this is a promising step. If university administrators are going to be involved in the process of investigating sexual harassment and assault, they should do so in accordance with principles of basic fairness.

Given how invested many survivors' advocacy groups are in the previous, flawed Title IX procedures, it will be interesting to see their reaction to this news. Several former Obama staffers have already set up a legal defense fund to fight DeVos in court if she tries to "roll back Title IX protections...in ways we think are illegal," former Department of Education staffer Aaron Ament told Politico. One of the members of the group's advisory board is Catherine Lhamon, now chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and former head of the Obama Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, the subagency responsible for the previous Title IX approach.

*This sentence was updated to clarify Jackson's role.

Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

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  • Rhywun||

    I hope she has a bodyguard on the way to that private jet.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump will just nominate another person who ends lefty policies in education.

    That is what scares these lefties so much. This train is just becoming more and more unstoppable every month.

  • Princess Trigger||

    Mark it on ya calendars boys:
    September 22nd: Rape Day

  • Microaggressor||

    The day Trump legalized rape.

  • Ben of Houston||

    No, he did not. In fact, it's just as illegal as ever. We are just ensuring actual justice is done by protecting the standard rights of the accused like in every other situation in the country. Why should a sexual assault accusation on campus be tried by campus administrators with a low standard of evidence and no rights for the accused? We literally give Klansmen who were videoed lynching people more rights than that.

  • Brother Kyfho||

    Why are you defending rape and rapists?

  • Barry Gold||

    Ben isn't defending rape or rapists. He is defending the right to due process that is supposed to be given to *all* accused persons. This logic, "why are you defending (x type of criminal)" has been repeatedly applied to people accused of murder, drug trafficking, other crimes that could attract sensational headlines for a DA thinking about career advancement -- mostly by "conservativers".

    It's a real shame to see people on our side of the fence -- liberals, progressives -- using the same (lack of) logic to make it easier to railroad the accused. We need to be better than this.

  • Brusanan||

    You are the one defending criminals here. You are defending spiteful women who use a broken justice system as a weapon against men they want to hurt. These innocent men no longer have a right to Due Process thanks to feminists who have rigged thejustice system against men.

    Feminists would gladly imprison 1000 innocent men if it meant one actual rapist would go to prison. Because it's only women's lives who matter.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    Few of you seem to understand sarcasm.

  • Brusanan||

    Poe's Law.

  • Joe Emenaker||

    "Why should a sexual assault accusation on campus be tried..."

    Because,
    1) Nobody has a *right* to attend a given college or university.
    2) This isn't a court of law. If you lose your case, you don't serve time; you just have to go finish your education somewhere else. Think of it like some exclusive clubs where members can be ousted for mere conduct unbecoming of the club image. Heck, some colleges have codes of conduct against drinking or even pre-marital sex. So, lose this notion that there is some "due process" or "standard rights" from the *outside* world of the public judicial system which are supposed to apply here.
    3) To colleges and universities, the perception of safety is a *huge* deal. This is usually the first time people's kids have left home for any extended period of time, and parents are hyper-sensitive to stories of students regretting sexual contact they were party to. So, *regardless* of why you're causing sexual partners to regret having met you (whether you forcibly raped them, or got them drunk, or knowingly spreading Hep-c), if you're running around campus causing people to regret having come into contact with you, the university is going to want you gone. Sure, they're primarily an *educational* provider, but the product they're peddling is also a certain type of *environment*, and, if you're tarnishing that, it's within their purview to show you the door.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Worse. Than. Hitler.

    I hope everybody likes getting raped, because they're raping EVERYBODY out here now.

  • BYODB||

    Well, according to the advocates who love this guidance people were all already being raped all the time and not being caught or punished even under their own rules so...no real change?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That one Brock Turner case has become a justification for all of their beliefs and actions.

  • paranoid android||

    *hides kids, hides wife*

  • MarkLastname||

    HIDE AND RAPE STEVE SMITH'S FAVORITE GAME

  • Chipper Morning, Mean Girl||

    I bet Amazon is gonna start selling rape kits soon.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Nothing wrong with that. My problem with Title IX doesn't conflict with my hatred of rapists.

    Girls should have handguns en masse.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Taxpayers get raped every April 15.
    Its in the US Constitution.

  • Schizoidman_21||

    You're an asshole!

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Several former Obama staffers have already set up a legal defense fund to fight DeVos in court

    Awesome! Love seeing assholes throw their own money away than other's people's for a change.

  • Paloma||

    They can't seem to get over the fact that they're FORMER staffers and no longer in charge.

  • Dan S.||

    How is it a "defense" fund? Who would they be defending (in the legal sense)?

  • MarkLastname||

    Since they're mainly concerned that a bunch of innocent men won't get punished for crimes they didn't commit, and they want to change that, legal offense fund would be more accurate.

  • Episteme||

    Since they're mainly concerned that a bunch of innocent men won't get punished for crimes they didn't commit

    The A-Team can finally show themselves out in the open?

  • damikesc||

    Several former Obama staffers have already set up a legal defense fund to fight DeVos in court

    So, it's illegal to not suppress due process in their eyes?

  • p3orion||

    It wasn't illegal under the terms of the "Dear Colleague" letter. But worse, they also didn't think it was immoral, unethical, unconstitutional, or un-American.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Several former Obama staffers have already set up a legal defense fund to fight DeVos in court

    So court is where they want to go, but God forbid an accused rapist take THEM to court.

    I cannot wait to see these people have their asses handed to them in court. They'll bitch and moan as bad as Hilary about their loss - calling it Judicial Rape.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Changing it without an act of Congress is fine. Changing it back without an act of Congress is grounds to sue.

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  • BYODB||

    It's not hypocrisy, well ok it is, but what we're looking at is a tacit admission that the left wants to use the Judiciary as a weapon. They basically want to rule by fiat while using the judicial branch as a shield to prevent the opposition party from doing the same. Don't get me wrong, both sides appear to do this in certain circumstances but this is a truly glaring example. We'll see how it goes.

  • Rebel Scum||

    It's the same shite with DACA.

  • BYODB||

    Basically, yes it is. They claimed they were just going to 'defer' those people but, exactly the way everyone expected, it's become 'well they've been here so long, why not just do another amnesty huh?'

    Because, you know, all those times we did that before totally worked and absolutely didn't kick the can down the road.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The hypocrisy is completely normal for the political Left.

  • tommyguns2||

    Thanks for highlighting this. While reading the article, I was scratching my head and thinking the exact same thing! How do you have the balls to make a rule without rulemaking and that is permissible, but to withdraw a letter that is NOT a rule, is somehow legally impermissible?

    How do you stand before a Federal judge and make that argument with a straight face? I suppose you just make sure you sue in the "right" district where judges don't worry about such niceties....

  • Jerryskids||

    First of all, what the hell took so long? And secondly, withdrawing the letter saying that colleges better operate kangaroo courts if they know what's good for them just means the kangaroo courts are no longer mandatory - but they're still optional, right?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    That is how I read it, and as we know college administrators were not exactly drug into this business of extra judiciary prosecution kicking and screaming, were they? It's never been about law but a vaguely defined "equity" to attack patriarchy, "rape culture" and a "war on women."

  • Lily Bulero||

    The colleges were seduced rather than raped by the "Dear Colleague" letter.

  • damikesc||

    Unlike Obama, it seems that Trump's admin is trying to change rules legally here.

  • Gandydancer||

    As with DACA and Cost Sharing Reduction payments a proper respect for law would have meant nuking the "Dear Colleague" letter 8 months ago.

  • damikesc||

    No argument. I wish her first words in office were "Well, that letter is null and void" and began the required commenting timeframe immediately.

  • Nihil||

    As I understand it, withdrawing the letter takes us back to the old rules (not sure on the terminology) where schools can choose to use a preponderance of evidence standard. Even though some people have become apoplectic about Secretary DeVos' decision it's unlikely many schools are going to change their current practices.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Correct. Try reducing staff in your womens studies employment office (ie title ix enforcement) and see the lawsuits spring up. You can't put toothpaste back in the tube.

  • ||

    Toothpaste in and out of a tube is far more useful than any group of womyn's studies.

  • Radioactive||

    makes for great lube, please add some to your rape kit!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The biggest improvement is that universities no longer have that Dear Colleague letter to back them up in court. If they screw over students now, they are on their own.

  • Tony||

    At last, some middle ground between "Accusation is guilt" and "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

  • colorblindkid||

    Were there any women who actually said he did what he was bragging about? Also, where did his accusers go after the election was over?

  • Tony||

    But let's defend Trump right now, why not, because life is eternal.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Asking questions is defense?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Violence is peace

  • Paloma||

    Wait I thought we were talking about Bill Clinton?

  • Episteme||

    Remember, Clinton was allowed the "one free grope" rule.

  • NYC2AZ||

    And Queen Pantsuit gets a pass for trying to ruin the lives of all of Bill's accusers because reasons you Rebuplitarians just don't understand! In Tonylandia, pointing out Leftist hypocrisy = why do you love Trump so much?

    There are times I can't tell Tony and Lord Cheeto apart. Maybe it's all the straw that always seems to get in the way?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is great for nominating women like this that get rid of lefty policies.

  • Rhywun||

    Also, where did his accusers go after the election was over?

    Good question.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I was just going to say.... the memory hole is scary.

  • Don't look at me.||

    When you have permission, it isn't rape.

  • Tony||

    His own wife said he raped her.

  • BYODB||

    And, notably, the most recent Democrat candidate for President's significant other was accused by a lot of women of rape too but there was close to zero outrage over that fact. Oh, dear!

  • Tony||

    Yeah, zero outrage over Bill Clinton's escapades. Practically unnoticed.

  • BYODB||

    By people like you? Yes, it was practically unnoticed.

    Not that 'see, they do it too' is a particular defense of anything, but at least in the case of Clinton there was actual physical evidence instead of just a 'he said, she said'.

    Selective outrage is basically the only kind of outrage you have, Tony.

  • Tony||

    I guess we're all in agreement that Bill's escapades are Hillary's fault?

  • Paloma||

    Not unnoticed but certainly defended. And his accusers attacked. By the most recent Democrat candidate for President herself. AND the media.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know Tony, I have been raped multiple times in my life.

    I say no and my lady gives me a blowjob without my permission. I almost file charges every time.

    Almost.

  • Tony||

    Nobody has ever wanted to have sex with Donald Trump.

  • Brother Kyfho||

    You dumb, pathetic cuckold. Marla Maples said it was the best sex she ever had.

    Don't hate. You just look butt-hurt.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Tony, if he had a 'D' after his name, not only would you slavishly worship him, you would be sticking your ass up in the air. Begging him to plow it for you.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    This has got to be the thread winner. Congrats, Elias.

  • damikesc||

    She actually said the opposite.

  • MarkLastname||

    Making things up is one way to go, I guess.

  • Tony||

    Because we're usually so careful about getting the facts straight when insulting politicians around here.

  • Brother Kyfho||

    Again, with the "they do it too!"

  • Rebel Scum||

    OT: In case you were wondering, Chelsea Handler is still a retarded bimbo.

    Chelsea Handler ✔@chelseahandler
    Uhhhh. Kim Jung's letter to @realDonaldTrump is a little bit more sane than @realDonaldTrump. Maybe we trade?

    Feel free to move to North Korea if that suits you better.

    To put this asinine statement into perprective, here's a list of just some of the atrocities committed by Kim via Breslanta:

    People in prison camps were starved to death, then had their bodies burned and disposed of, usually by other prisoners. These and other acts drew comparisons to the war crimes committed by the Nazis in World War II. (New York Daily News)
    One former prisoner mentioned a time he was so hungry that he found, and ate, kernels of corn he found in cow dung. (National Post)
    In areas where winter temperatures can drop as low as -40º, prisoners were forced to sleep in cramped quarters with no heat or blankets. (National Post)
    Children are tortured from the age of 13. (National Post)
    Torture devices are frequently used on prisoners. People are hung upside-down by their feet, from the ceiling, for multiple days at a time. Teeth are broken...

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yeah, but i don't see where Kim bragged about grabbing anyone by the pussy.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And he hangs out with cool celebrities, while Trump just hangs with Ted Nugent who hasn't had a good song since the second album.

  • Princess Trigger||

    No mentions of rape there and it all seems pretty inclusive.

  • Nihil||

    No mentions of rape [...]

    How about teenage sex slaves (among other horribleness): http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/w.....d-11203055

  • ||

    There were rumors that Kim´s wife was forced into the marriage, but who knows. At least she never was a nude model.

  • Paloma||

    Sometimes I suspect the name Chelsea means "Retarded Bimbo".

  • Schizoidman_21||

    Chelsea Handler has never been funny. She screwed a TV producer so he set her up. Pitiful.

  • Microaggressor||

    People in prison camps were starved to death, then had their bodies burned and disposed of, usually by other prisoners. These and other acts drew comparisons to the war crimes committed by the Nazis in World War II.

    An odd comparison for what is standard procedure in communist countries.

  • BYODB||

    Or, in other words, only WE can rule by fiat. When YOU do it we'll run to the judiciary to give it the force of a ex post facto law! In your face due process advocates!


    It's more or less proof that these people believe only in kings and emperors. I suppose we're pretty darn close to ticking over to the next stage of the Tytler Cycle, and I don't think we're going to like it much.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, the glaring hypocrisy of "Anytime this administration rolls back one of the Obama administrations rules it's illegal, but of course it was legal for the Obama administration to implement those rules in the first place" is breathtaking.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Just reduce the number of progtards by several million. The problem largely goes away.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Today Education Secretary Betsy DeVos withdrew the Obama-era letter instructing colleges to use the preponderance of evidence standard when adjudicating sexual assault...."These documents have led to the deprivation of rights for many students—both accused students denied fair process and victims denied an adequate resolution of their complaints," DeVos wrote in her own "dear colleague" letter.

    I'll be in my bunk.

  • DJF||

    But will colleges still have the power to weigh the guilty party and see if they weigh the same as a duck and so should be burned at the stake?

  • Don't look at me.||

    If they drown they are innocent.

  • BYODB||

    Clearly, you didn't get the memo.

    If they drown, they are guilty.

    If they float, they are also guilty.

    There is no 'innocent' result of the test. Do you even inquisition, bro?

  • Lily Bulero||

    The joke is that if you sink you're innocent - but in danger of drowning.

    If you float you're not in danger of drowning, but you're guilty and will be executed as such.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...it will be interesting to see their reaction to this news.

    I guess meltdowns can be interesting.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I certainly do love The China Syndrome.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    *Sings God Bless America*

  • Fk_Censorship||

    You know who else loved patriotic songs?

  • Lily Bulero||

  • Lily Bulero||

    I decided not to use this NSFW song as a more appropriate farewell for that pernicious letter.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Phat.

  • Sevo||

    Lily Bulero|9.22.17 @ 2:03PM|#
    "So long, "Dear Colleague" letter"

    Still not sure who you 'were', but it's becoming obvious that whoever that was isn't worth watching.
    Pathetic.

  • Eric Bana||

    The Education Department is formulating a new approach to Title IX sexual misconduct adjudication.

    Uh, let the police handle it?

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Breaking: Betsy DeVos Withdraws 'Dear Colleague' Letter That Weaponized Title IX Against Due Process
    "These documents have led to the deprivation of rights for many students."

    Any radical feminist will tell you that men don't deserve due process until all women are allowed to grow a penis.
    Only then will there be true equality among the sexes.

  • ||

    well-intentioned

    Nope.

  • Barry Gold||

    This in itself won't prevent colleges from applying the "preponderance of evidence" standard, but at least it will allow colleges to apply due process if they choose to. [Question: are private colleges required to offer due process if they choose not to?]

  • JuanQPublic||

    Many visible opponents to this reform are advocating little more than mob rule. No appeal to intellect, or due process. It's all predictable. Their minds are made up. They will frame it as "anti-woman" and further infantilize students in the process.

  • Brusanan||

    They have nothing but emotional appeals and insults.

    It's the same thing, over and over again. "Everyone who disagrees with me is a racist and a Nazi and a misogynist." Now they just have to add "Rapist" to that list and problem solved.

  • flyfishnevada||

    A) The old guidelines were contrary to everything our justice system is built on. One more reason not to send you kids to the bastions of totalitarian, statist, group think that are public universities.

    B) This is what you get when you govern by edict and fiat in this nation. It can be undone as easily as it was created. Presidents of both parties do it but Obama was especially fond of the practice. Love him or hate him, chances are much of what he accomplished will be erased over the years since so little of it was accomplished through the legislative process.

  • John C. Randolph||

    But, how will white girls punish black guys who don't call them after one-night stands now?

    -jcr

  • Boonster||

    Feminists fantasize about rape so much that they have to fabricate it.

  • Boonster||

    Feminists fantasize about rape so much that they have to fabricate it.

  • Eman||

    Live by the "dear colleague" letter, die by the "dear colleague" letter.

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