MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The ACLU Condemns DeVos's Title IX Reforms, Says These Due Process Safeguards 'Inappropriately Favor the Accused'

So much for civil liberties.

DeVosOlivier Douliery/UPI/NewscomIt's no surprise that victims' rights activists and their allies are furious about the Education Department's proposed changes to Title IX, the federal statute that deals with sex and gender discrimination on campus.

It is surprising, however, to see the American Civil Liberties Union joining in this chorus. The ACLU has long defended the rights of accused terrorists, criminals, neo-Nazis, and the Westboro Baptist Church. The group works tirelessly to protect due process, even for the least sympathetic among us.

And yet the ACLU has condemned the new Title IX rules, declaring on Twitter: "The proposed rule would make schools less safe for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, when there is already alarmingly high rates of campus sexual assaults and harassment that go unreported. It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused and letting schools ignore their responsibility under Title IX to respond promptly and fairly to complaints of sexual violence."

I am astonished to see the ACLU take the position that a government policy gives an accused person too many rights, especially when these rights are things the ACLU has generally supported. (In other words, they are not weird new rights invented out of thin air. These are standard protections that regrettably were not applied to campus sexual misconduct adjudication during the Obama years.)

The Title IX reforms were announced Friday morning; they greatly strengthen due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct, and they relieve colleges of the burden of investigating suggestive speech that should be permissible on free speech grounds.

"The proposed regulation rightly rejects the incredibly overbroad, unconstitutional definition of sexual harassment mandated by [the Office for Civil Rights] in its 2013 'blueprint' for colleges," said Hans Bader, a former Office for Civil Rights lawyer, in an email to Reason.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is also pleased with the proposal. Samantha Harris, a vice president at the group, says "the proposed regulations are a marked improvement over the previous guidance in a number of important ways."

Some feminist groups see matters differently. The activist organization End Rape on Campus has accused DeVos of making campuses "more dangerous" for women. Another activist group, Know Your IX, describes the new rules as "worse than we could have imagined."

Keep in mind that the new rules—while a significant improvement—are not radical. In fact, they adhere to the principles set forth by federal "rape shield" laws, which protect victims from having to discuss their past sexual relationships during adjudication hearings. And while the new rules will indeed mandate cross-examination, they do not mandate direct cross-examination: Attorneys or support persons will do the questioning. This is a detail that many activists have overlooked in their criticism: NARAL made the false claim that DeVos would allow victims to be questioned and "re-traumatized" by their attackers, and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D–Mass.) retweeted it.

I didn't expect an honest appraisal of the new rules from the likes of NARAL. But I did figure the ACLU might appreciate some of the nuances involved here: Protecting women from sexual misconduct is important, but so are liberal principles of justice, fairness, and the presumption of innocence.

The ACLU recently broke with longstanding tradition to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—and ran ads saying that Kavanaugh's denials of sexual impropriety should be dismissed, since other accused rapists like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein also denied the charges against them. Between that and this, principles of due process and the presumption of innocence seem to be falling off the organization's radar as things that should be defended, at least when the person who needs these protections lacks sympathy from intersectional progressives.

Even on this front, though, the critics of Title IX reform seem to forget that the students who face sexual misconduct adjudication on campus are—as best we can tell—disproportionately men of color and immigrants. Who will speak for them, if not civil liberties organizations?

Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery/UPI/Newscom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • damikesc||

    It is surprising, however, to see the American Civil Liberties Union joining in this chorus.

    Did you just wake from a coma?

  • damikesc||

    The ACLU recently broke with longstanding tradition to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—and ran ads saying that Kavanaugh's denials of sexual impropriety should be dismissed, since other accused rapists like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein also denied the charges against them. Between that and this, principles of due process and the presumption of innocence seem to be falling off the organization's radar as things that should be defended, at least when the person who needs these protections lacks sympathy from intersectional progressives.

    I mean you wrote this in the same piece. In what way is the ACLU going all SJW on this issue a surprise? If they didn't do so, I'd have been stunned.

    They are now the ASCLU. They like SOME civil liberties. Not all of them. Not anymore.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They're not even that. They like some things that happen to be civil liberties, but the alignment between what they like and actual civil liberties is purely coincidental at this point.

    It was in a Reason interview back in 1994, that Strossen said these words:

    "Putting all that aside, I don't want to dwell on constitutional analysis, because our view has never been that civil liberties are necessarily coextensive with constitutional rights. Conversely, I guess the fact that something is mentioned in the Constitution doesn't necessarily mean that it is a fundamental civil liberty."

    That was the ACLU's public announcement that they didn't really care what was actually in the Constitution anymore.

  • Ben of Houston||

    It's called a rhetorical device, my friend. It's also quite reasonable to be still in shock at the transition from a group who would go to bat for anyone, even the Klan, and then transition to supporting the lynch-mob mentality of guilt-by-accusation.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    I'd say they're still the ACLU, it's just the Anti Civil Liberties Union now.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    This. Their position is only "mindboggling" if you're really fucking stupid, naive, or you haven't been paying attention.

    And it seems like this dude pays attention, so it must be one or both of the first two.

  • ||

    Robby's playing dumb. He's a self-described civil libertarian. The ACLU defending terrorists, Nazis, and Christian Fundamentalists in courts of law while supporting extrajudicial kangaroo hearings to shame people into proper behavior outside the government's immediate purview is exactly what he wanted.

    Now, seeing that he's uncomfortably close to the bullseye, he's trying to distance himself from the notion that civil libertarianism and libertarianism are one and the same cause.

  • MoreFreedom||

    "... while supporting extrajudicial kangaroo hearings to shame people into proper behavior outside the government's immediate purview is exactly what he wanted "

    Associations of people who don't share the monopoly on the use of force and "shame people into proper behavior" are the kinds of associations we need. The ACLU used to shame government officials into proper behavior for them. Now it's an entirely partisan organization. Consider, since when have they supported the individual civil rights listed in the 2nd amendment?

  • Robert||

    No, it's mindbloggling. I'd've thought that at Illuminati HQ, they'd be smart enough not to pursue the "anti" side on this via the CLUs, but via the other front groups they're members of. Psst, take off your Civil Liberties Union hat when you say this, because we don't want to completely queer that name.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    No he's dead on. they have a pretty good history of protecting civil rights for the right and left. It's just pile on time for the alt-right because they don't support the right to put women and and people of color "in their place" like they typically desire. Basically to rescind women's rights, voting rights, gay rights, and lots of other stances that Trumpeters have issues with. If the ACLU isn't support those blights on the human condition then it's a rallying call for the Donnettes to attack with their weak arguments and limited cognitive abilities.

  • Sevo||

    Wise Old Fool|11.17.18 @ 1:10PM|#
    "No he's dead on. they have a pretty good history of protecting civil rights for the right and left."
    That's spelled h-a-d.

    "It's just pile on time for the alt-right because they don't support the right to put women and and people of color "in their place" like they typically desire. Basically to rescind women's rights, voting rights, gay rights, and lots of other stances that Trumpeters have issues with."
    How long did it take you to come up with that pile of bullshit, lefty scumbag?

    "If the ACLU isn't support those blights on the human condition then it's a rallying call for the Donnettes to attack with their weak arguments and limited cognitive abilities."
    If a lefty had a brain, s/he'd be embarrassed to have posted such crap.

  • KevinP||

    Here's 11 times young black men were railroaded by campus sexual assault claims


    Quote:
    According to the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, a nonprofit group that fights the "over-criminalization" of sex-related activities, there's "parallels between the treatment of Black men accused of rape during the infamous Jim Crow period, and the adjudication of sexual assault cases in the current era."

    Journalist Emily Yoffe wrote in a September 2017 article in The Atlantic about the phenomenon of black male students accused by non-black female students. She noted black men make up only about 6 percent of college undergraduates yet are "vastly overrepresented in the cases I've tracked."

  • NicholasStix||

    Here is my response to the article you linked to:

    This article is a travesty, and completely fails to meet CF's standards.

    It's not clear that any of these men was railroaded on account of his race. Their lawyers are all playing the race card, because that's what blacks and their supporters do. And Michael Jones is repeating their stories as holy writ.

    Virtually all American campuses have for many years—going back at least to the 1980s—discriminated against men. Overwhelmingly white men. (Regarding grading, the discrimination goes back at least to the 1970s, but not regarding black men, who have enjoyed affirmative action grading.) The specifics of these claims—excepting the ludicrous claims that campuses unfairly stereotype black men as violent—are the same sort of charges routinely made against white men students, with the same star chamber "sham courts."

    And campus "rape" activists have a habit of terrorizing falsely accused white men, while leaving accused black men alone, and covering up actual rapes committed by black men (e.g., at Duke). 1/2

  • NicholasStix||

    Regarding the allegedly autistic student, Marcus Knight, I'd like to see more evidence. Mom's story sounds disturbingly familiar.

    The first summary, about the University of Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, is pure fiction, which makes me question the other summaries.

    Johnson and Williams benefited from a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, tamper with evidence, and witness tampering (violent intimidation) involving Knoxville PD Chief David Rausch, UT assistant athletic director Mike Ward, UT football player Geraldo Orta and UT head football coach Butch Jones.

    The victim immediately went to the police, Chief Rausch immediately called Coach Jones, Coach Jones immediately called A.J. Johnson, and Johnson then called Michael Williams. By the time police showed up at Johnson's apartment, he'd already cleaned up and bleached things.

    http://nicholasstixuncensored......le-of.html

    My conclusion: This thing was written to support the Trump Administration/GOP campaign in support of black criminals, aka "criminal justice reform." 2/2

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    A fruit sushi coma?

  • BambiB||

    I used to (begrudgingly) support the ACLU.

    Not anymore.

    FUCK the ACLU and their "convenience"-based fidelity to the Constitution.

  • Wizard4169||

    Agreed. Even when I didn't like all their positions in the past, I could still feel some respect for the ACLU. I defended them to my right-leaning friends. But as they abandon one principle after another, that's gotten harder and harder to do. What was once an unfair caricature of the organization now seems more like an accurate description.

  • ||

    Shit, I'm Canadian and know the ACLU abandoned the 'liberties' part long ago.

  • MSimon||

    " End Rape on Campus"

    Which end?

  • tlapp||

    The ACLU has long ago given up principles for liberal politics. Even Alan Dershowitz has pointed that out numerous times. Civil liberties are under attack and the ACLU is no longer a defender of them.

  • Nuwanda||

    Obviously, and they are still a little groggy.

    It accounts for Reason's inability to see the extend to which they've likewise flattered to deceive over the years, affecting to stand for limited government when they actually stand for no government.

    The ACLU are simply playing the same bait and switch game, but that too has become quite obvious.

  • damikesc||

    Some feminist groups see matters differently. The activist organization End Rape on Campus has accused DeVos of making campuses "more dangerous" for women. Another activist group, Know Your IX, describes the new rules as "worse than we could have imagined."

    Campuses are majority female. Significantly so. Unless lesbian rape is out of control, the numbers alone indicate that this is way less of a problem than they are freaking out over.

  • ||

    Unless lesbian rape is out of control

    We wouldn't know. If a man points out that lesbian rape is objectively still rape, he gets fired and nobody gives two shits whether he gets his press pass back or not.

  • Daniel||

    I'm going to need some photos and video of said lesbian rape for proper evaluation.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Try Gorillas in the Moist

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Try Gorillas in the Moist

  • Sevo||

    OK, Maoist or Mist?

  • perlchpr||

    Well, "Gorillas in the Maoist" might be appropriate for campus lesbians, but I'm pretty sure he was making a porn title parody joke.

  • Nuwanda||

    This is making me more excited than a blind lesbian at a fish market.

  • Kevin Vickers||

    In light of their more recent behavior, I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised by this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the ACLU wants to ruin its brand, so be it.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I believe that is pretty well accomplished.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Presumption of innocence is so yesterday. Much bigger fish to fry now, like patriarchy.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I love the last paragraph where Robby appeals to the ACLU's sense of identity politics to change their position. If you think that would work, then you are not really that astonished at the ACLU's position, are you?

  • AFSlade||

    Talk about accidentally revealing what his motivating "principles" are...

    I used to think all of the Robby bashing was unjustified, but FFS, this kid is nothing more than an SJW with the same brain rot as most of the rest of his generation. In some ways, it's not entirely his fault. I put four kids through school, some very 'highly rated,' and public education - and even most of private education - are nothing more than Progressive Indoctrination camps.

    Kids learn obedience first and then are browbeat with nothing but Progressive/SJW bullshit for the entirety of their time. The defiant get tossed out or beat down; only those repeating the proper dogma do well. And then they go on to college and it's that times 1000.

  • Robert||

    No, he's just pricking the CLUs w it.

  • Utilitarian||

    That's the only type of argument that SJW types wouldn't immediately dismiss. If you don't mention how the current system "disproportionately affects historically marginalized group x", they won't listen.

  • An Non||

    Hey, let's toss in some of the other problems, like how it's actually harmful to LGBT* people and infantilizes women because the narrative is almost always strictly male-on-female violence--denying women agency within a heteronormative framework.

    And, since it also is typically in place of an actual trial in a court of law? Nobody found guilty in by this process is going to serve time or have a bit of a criminal record, despite the fact that these acts are definitely crimes & this almost certainly facilitates the school's ability to claim lower sexual assault rates than they ought to be.

    Maybe we should just insist the school inform anybody who comes complaining about a sexual assault to them that all they can do is call the cops for them and, once the police report is filed, facilitate avoidance of the accused until the case has wrapped up. (And I'd have the latter an option for any victim of violent crime by fellow student(s) and/or staff.)

  • NicholasStix||

    An Non

    Your statements are nonsensical. Why should someone serve prison time, based on a campus kangaroo court? The acts are not "definitely crimes," and in many cases not definitely acts. And persecuting man students has nothing at all to do with "sexual assault [sic] rates."

    "All they can do is call the cops for them…" Calling the cops is the false accuser's job. And why do you say "all they can do," as if that were nothing? Presently, campus bureaucrats commit all manner of crimes, including impersonating cops, prosecutors, and judges.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    As terrible as Orange Hitler's regime has been for this country, one of the more promising political developments of the past couple years is the ACLU's transformation into a more woke, intersectional, left-libertarian organization. Just as concepts like "freedom of speech" must be reevaluated in the context of white supremacy, our position on "due process" must not ignore the reality of rape culture. Especially on college campuses, where 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted and false allegations of rape are virtually nonexistent.

    Every libertarian should consider donating to the ACLU. I would, but this #DrumpfRecession has left me financially unable to do so at this time.

    #LibertariansAgainstRapeCulture

  • DesigNate||

    Not bad. A+

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked the "#DrumpfRecession" tag.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's really stepped up its game/programming recently. So much so that the parody of the parody trolls no longer post.

  • NashTiger||

    The true blessing indeed

  • ||

    Wait, has the abyss finally consumed OBL?

    I mean, sure Robby was wearing a mask the whole time but the notion of 'believe the 1 in 4 women statistic' isn't a Reason staple the way open borders, transgender, and abortion rights are staples. You're parodying a stance Reason didn't/doesn't really take.

    And, my God!, I'm defending Robby and Reason magazine! Have I really been part of the resistance the whole time and just didn't know it?!?!? *runs off screaming*

  • Utilitarian||

    Get woke, go broke?

  • Careless||

    He's getting better at this role

  • Pro Libertate||

    Precisely which civil liberties does the ACLU purport to protect these days? Organizations like the IJ are far more important in fighting government incursions on our rights--if anything, the ACLU seems like it supports the government as often as not.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    The ACLU protects the right to access abortion care, which all Koch / Reason libertarians must support. It also defends the affirmative action policies under which black and brown students are considered Ivy League material if they score 1100 out of 1600 on the SAT. This policy is critical to ensure racial diversity in higher education.

  • Flinch||

    I support the right to legal access, but... where is the "care"? Nearly one in four women will have a PTSD like episode [post procedure], of which they do not get notified before getting booted out the door. I'm thinking... privatization is way overdue: lawsuits tend to go sideways when government money gets involved, so the malfeasance of PP clinics is not currently being addressed.

  • JesseAz||

    Open borders, freedom to deny biology, freedom to force others to deny biology, freedom of working as many hours but getting equal pay, freedom for convicts to vote. Probably a few more.

  • Midwest Lawyer||

    I like the joke made by Alan Dershowitz that maybe the ACLU needs a Civil Liberties project (to complement its other special purpose projects).

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "NARAL made the false claim that DeVos would allow victims to be questioned and "re-traumatized" by their attackers, and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D–Mass.) retweeted it."

    The ACLU has become a parody of themselves.

    And a Kennedy opposing due process for someone who did something bad to a woman? A Kennedy? He's got precisely zero self-awareness. Someone should ask him to apply his philosophy in this to his great-uncle...…...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well I'd like to know the ACLU's thinking on the manner. I can see the argument that since college tribunals are not formal courts of law, then the standards don't have to be the same in both cases. But what is their thinking on what the standards for college tribunals ought to be.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    A better question would be why are they different? College students are all adults. If allegations of rape don't rise to the level of criminal activity, then I'm not sure what does.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well for very obvious cases of criminal activity, you are right.

    But then you have the fuzzier cases in which students do things that are detrimental, but *perhaps* not criminal.

  • ||

    But then you have the fuzzier cases in which students do things that are detrimental, but *perhaps* not criminal.

    Unless it's somehow specifically scholastically related or distinctly encroaches on school function, I don't see that the school should be involved. Even if it encroaches on school function, there's a decent argument that the school should side with the student in case of student/non-student conflicts and/or eject everyone indiscriminately in the case of student/student conflicts. Emma Sulkowicz has made mockery of Columbia University more than whomever she accused ever could.

    If you had a private employer that was majority male and booted women from jobs based on nothing more than vague accusations from males, you'd better believe the EEOC would be all over it.

  • JesseAz||

    Jeff, you posting here is detrimental to honest and logical arguments, should there be a process to kick you out based on arbitrary, non evidential evidence?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    A "process"? No, it's Reason's property, they can decide who they want commenting here or not. They should have the authority to use whatever standard that they wish to impose, due process or not. Do you disagree?

  • Bubba Jones||

    If the punishment is forfeiture of years of work and $250k in tuition then I think the standards should be those of a criminal case.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well that depends on the particular contract.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "I can see the argument that since college tribunals are not formal courts of law, then the standards don't have to be the same in both cases."

    And the new standards don't take the process all the way to that which exists in a criminal trial. The problem now is that in a lot of these situations there is zero due process at all. It's a clear Constitutional problem that was created by the Obama administration. And woe to the party that's trying to fix it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well, not *zero* due process, but weaker than that in a criminal trial, sure.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    In a lot of cases it's basically zero. In the situations where the party that was found guilty and punished and subsequently took the college to court, the courts have generally spanked the colleges hard.

  • JesseAz||

    You have tribubes at college disallowing evidence that is contrary to the accusers story, even when the texts are from the accuser... What the hell do you mean not zero? You aren't alarmed by the over 200 settlements with acused students in The last few years when transitioned to a civil court of law, which has low evidentiary standards as well.

    Did you even bother to investigate the cases where schools actually ignored their own regulations?

    Again... I have to ask... Do you even investigate past the headlines to form your opinions?!?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Why don't you present some evidence for your claims?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    C'mon Jesse, back up what you say.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Due process rights are meant to protect all of us from arbitrary state action.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I agree. See my comment below.

  • DesigNate||

    I can't really see the argument because if a crime was committed, you shouldn't go to the college administration office first (or only).

  • Midwest Lawyer||

    That is how the administrators justify the lower standard of proof. One writer stated that students are not put at risk of imprisonment, they only run the risk of pursuing a degree at one specific institution.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I'll get right to the point; FUCK THE ACLU.

  • SIV||

    #MAGA

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The way I see it is:

    On one end, you have a private land owner deciding on what is acceptable behavior on his/her property. In this instance, the owner is free to devise whatever rules, and whatever burden of proof he/she wishes, without regards to due process considerations for those accused of breaking the rules (consistent with the NAP). Here the operative principles ought to be private property rights, and freedom of association rights.

    On the other end, you have the state deciding on what is acceptable behavior at large. Here, the state should have only a minimal set of rules, and should be required to meet very high standards of proof before judging if someone has broken those rules, because the state has the legal monopoly of the use of force, and that force should be used to deprive individuals of liberty only when necessary and with very high certainty. So the operative principles here should be centered around due process, and vigilance with regards to the state's use of such power.

    Where do public universities fall on this continuum? They aren't private and shouldn't have the liberty to impose arbitrary or unfair rules, or processes, the same way that a private property owner does. However, universities don't have the power to deprive individuals of their liberty in the same way that the state does (throwing people in jail), so there is not *as much* of a reason to hold universities to the same very high standards of a state-run court of law.

  • ||

    Where do public universities fall on this continuum? They aren't private and shouldn't have the liberty to impose arbitrary or unfair rules, or processes, the same way that a private property owner does. However, universities don't have the power to deprive individuals of their liberty in the same way that the state does (throwing people in jail), so there is not *as much* of a reason to hold universities to the same very high standards of a state-run court of law.

    Except that the federal government has already tipped the scales. Multiple times over and most recently deliberately. Universities didn't just suddenly discover they had a rape culture. Joe Biden told them they did and the President wrote them a letter about it.

    DeVos tipping the scale back is the wrong, but also fair/equal, move.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    The "you didn't build that" letter?

  • JesseAz||

    Dear colleague letters from Obama's doe.

  • Number 2||

    Obama's female deer knows how to write?

  • NicholasStix||

    mad.casual: "DeVos tipping the scale back is the wrong... [move]"

    How so?

  • DesigNate||

    Culturally we shouldn't accept what amounts to kangaroo courts to be the norm for deciding anyone's guilt or innocence, but private colleges should obviously be able to decide who they would like to associate with for pretty much any reason. Again though, if they think there is enough grounds to expel a student for some criminal act, then they should immediately turn that evidence over to the appropriate authorities for the criminal investigation.

    If it's something that should be adjudicated in a state-run court of law, the university shouldn't be able to decide anything until that adjudication has taken place though.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Unless you're going to include some fairly serious boilerplate to the effect that, "The university reserves the right to deprive your entire education of all value at its whim." AND draw attention to it at the time the student matriculates, I would say that there's some due process required even in the private sector before kicking a student out who has been paying for an education.

    You get more due process from the cable company arguing over a bill, typically, than from some of these universities in sexual assault pseudo-trials.

  • DesigNate||

    Fair point.

  • JesseAz||

    On top of the concerns you raise... The arbitrary decisions also effect job offers, school transfers, relationships, and in some cases have resulted in suicides.

    I honestly don't get the likes of people like Jeff defending the schools here. Even under theory of contract there are dozens of cases of schools violating their own processes as documented. It takes great ignorance to push the points some on here do.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Good Lord. I'm not "defending the schools". I'm laying out an argument based on principle irrespective of the position or policies of any particular public university. They are not 100% private institutions, and they are also not 100% public institutions in the same sense as, say, a public sidewalk is a public place.

    You can't seem to look at the big picture. You're stuck in this trench warfare of left vs. right and any argument that doesn't automatically side with the right is viewed with hostility.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    No Jeff, you are explicitly defending the schools. You're also ignoring all the articles you yourself have commented on on this site providing the support you demand others cite.

    You're entering Tony territory here.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If I'm "explicitly defending the schools" then you can point out where I have defended their specific behavior, right? Oh no you can't.

    You're just like Jesse - any viewpoint that isn't explicitly pro-Team Red is regarded as hostile and wrong.

  • Qsl||

    I don't think that is a good reading.

    Absent from the discussion is contract and due consideration. People are paying thousands of dollars to be there. You are not entitled to your own interpretation of contract, and in the case of competing claims, by accepting the money, you are also accepting to be my agent (at least by degree). Arbitrarily favoring one over the other is bad faith, and should leave you open to damages. Money is property too.

    If it is a criminal matter, full protections should apply.

    I see no reason why standards of a civil court should be abridged just because one party cries rape.

  • Paloma||

    Would this apply to Sharia Courts as well?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Retro punished with four years forced labor and $200K fine for nada after being accused with flimsy evidence without due process is Kafkaesque, That's more punishment and loss than many felony criminal penalties from a state-run court of law.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I'm pretty sure chemjeff hates me and thinks I'm an idiot, if anything, but Jeff I do appreciate what you're getting at. I happen to think that DeVos is, in good faith, restoring some safeguards, common sense, reason. No federal guidelines or involvement whatsoever is the ideal, but at the risk of being accused of diehard, fanatical partisanship by Jeff, I will say I like DeVos so far.

  • NashTiger||

    I don't think you could possibly fail to understand the issue any more spectacularly if you were paid to do so

  • Billy Bones||

    IMHO, the ACLU is much like PETA...A very good organization doing things to protect things that need protecting...IN THEORY. But much like PETA, the ACLU has been infiltrated by a bunch of nutjobs and whackadoodles that do nothing but discredit the good work these organizations could do.

  • Billy Bones||

    In other words, they are both organizations that people can no longer take seriously.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    PETA was never an organization that people could take seriously.

    Well, at least not unless the PETA you are referring to is People Eating Tasty Animals. :)

  • ||

    A very good organization doing things to protect things that need protecting...IN THEORY.

    What does PETA protect... in theory?

  • JesseAz||

    Bad tastes with advertisement.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lol.

  • Here for the outrage||

    I'm not even going to go after Robby today, I'm going after the people that allowed this shit to happen. The "libertarian" boomers that watched college campuses get overrun with marxists and said "meh".

    You watch colleges kangaroo court and push out men through admissions rigging - meh
    You listen to professors spewing hate for all white people - meh
    You listen to students demanding free everything except speech - meh
    You both sides hatred of Jews even though the left wishes Jews give up their homeland - meh

    You've watched this shit go down for 30 years, and kept CAUTIOUS. All so you can argue that abortions are cool and controlling the borders is racism.

    We reap what you sowed Nick and Ken. Don't blame Robby, blame the people that created him alongside the progressive assholes they refused to condemn

  • Utilitarian||

    College campuses aren't really overrun with Marxists, but some departments at some schools have serious problems. Why? Because the federal government has been subsidizing higher education for decades. The government doesn't need to subsidize education for civil engineering to be a viable disciple, for example. But gender studies and the like could not exist without the endless supply of government money.

    The federal government wouldn't even need to eliminate all student loans to fix this. They would just need to put stricter requirements on the money, such as limiting student loans to fields of study that have demonstrable economic value.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    I'm thinking a close look at the administration bolstered by your "some departments" plus the activist base would fairly easily get you to overrun by marxists. If not in total numbers then by volume and presence as well as their ability to make the rules the others must conform to.

  • Utilitarian||

    You're right. The engineering school I attended where >90% of the students were STEM was completely overrun by Marxists, but I was blind to it. Thanks for helping me to see the light.

  • JesseAz||

    Was your engineering school seeking to change basic rules and regulations for the college, advicating for course changes to other majors because they were too hard, allocating large percentages of their budget to non engineering studies?

  • Social Justice is neither||

    You do realize that STEM is one of the last hold-outs against these trends so your experience is not typical for >95% of colleges.

  • NashTiger||

    Engineering is the E in STEM. If you were in Engineering school, 100% were Es.

    The Ss have been heavily infiltrated, see the Climate Change debate. Even M can get politicized

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Quite frankly you sound like a person whose only exposure to a college campus was from reading about them on right-wing websites.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    And you've written enough that I've put your opinions and thinking on par with Tony and Hinh.

  • John C. Randolph||

    But gender studies and the like could not exist without the endless supply of government money.

    They might exist, but they'd only be for rich girls who didn't really want to study while they were looking around for their MRS degree.

    -jcr

  • HGW xx/7||

    I agree with this for the most part, though reason seems to have gone from a gentle slide to the left to a full on sprint the last few years. It's sad when Teh Jacket's pieces paint him as one of the more conservative writers.

    It's not to say that they aren't doing a good job supporting the genuinely important issues of freedom the Left treasures - abortion access, ending the drug war, freedom of speech (though this one is quickly being abandoned by the progs) - but they've basically given up on forcefully arguing on behalf of freedoms the right champions.

    Reason has become a shitty college newspaper. With the idiots they have on staff, are we surprised? I'd wager that 80% of them are flyover-country-shunning, cosmo-fallating hipsters who want nothing more than to go full prog and only took this gig because their DeVry degree didn't look so sharp on their resume. Fucking trash.

  • Toranth||

    Hear that, young black men? The ACLU has told the government to stop favoring the accused!

    Don't you feel better now?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I wonder how many people think those accused of sexual harassment should have limited due process, or none at all. But expect Acosta should get due process for a press pass.

  • majil||

    The ACLU is now just like the SPLC . They just lie and spout garbage.

  • HGW xx/7||

    ^Truth

  • Rossami||

    The ACLU has been abandoning their core principles for at least a decade. Unfortunately, this is another example of their decline. The current ACLU is a sad and broken version of the once-proud organization it was.

  • BYODB||


    And while the new rules will indeed mandate cross-examination, they do not mandate direct cross-examination: Attorneys or support persons will do the questioning. This is a detail that many activists have overlooked in their criticism: NARAL made the false claim that DeVos would allow victims to be questioned and "re-traumatized" by their attackers, and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D–Mass.) retweeted it.


    You see, this is where they reveal that they have no interest in actually allowing cross examination. Women are, after all, such weak creatures that they couldn't possibly be expected to show up in court and answer questions about what happened. In fact, women have no agency at all and you can tell this is true because there are essentially zero burdens placed upon them for these claims. How could she know if she was raped? She must be told it is so by campus workers.


    For a woman to have agency they must surrender all agency. Such are the demands of Progressivism. I wish I could put /sarc after this, but this appears to be what Progressives actually believe although they would obviously phrase it much differently.

  • Alcibiades||

    SPLC = ACLU
    ACLU = SPLC

    They should get a room..

  • Alcibiades||

    OT: gun confiscation proposed:

    https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status
    /1063535667249012736

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    SwallowWell's been on a confiscation bender for a while.

  • Alcibiades||

    Not quite this explicitly. The little weasel was characteristically weasely on that point when he was on Tucker Carlson talking about his little gun confiscation wet dream.

    His latest is nuking his fellow citizens:

    https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status/
    1063527635114852352

  • Paulpemb||

    I think we've found the Rev. Arthur Kirkland's true identity.

    "If you clingers don't submit, we'll just drop nuclear bombs on you and buy our food from Mexico!"

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You actually watch Tucker Carlson?

  • Alcibiades||

    Tucker is great, what's wrong with Tucker Carlson?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The Pigeon proves his dedication to principle and objective reasoning by rationalizing everything the left does and demonizing everything the right does. Then he accuses anyone who actually argues a principle of being unprincipled. So basically your typical projecting progressive.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Yup

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Blah blah blah. YOU are the pigeon around here. You are the one who swoops in and shits on the discussion. Here you are just lying about me because you evidently have nothing better to do.

    rationalizing everything the left does - lie
    and demonizing everything the right does. - lie
    Then he accuses anyone who actually argues a principle of being unprincipled. - lie

    All so you can just push a OMG HE'S A PROGRESSIVE narrative.

    Why is it so important for you to label me as a progressive? Some progressives have good ideas. Some non-progressives have good ideas. Perhaps we should be examining ideas rather than labels? Who is the one being unprincipled here, of seeking to apply labels instead of argue ideas?

  • Truthteller1||

    Another institution falls to progressive mania.

  • Paulpemb||

    "These are standard protections that regrettably were not applied to campus sexual misconduct adjudication during the Obama years."

    Has anybody associated with the Obama administration ever expressed any 'regret' over denying these 'standard protections' to accused students (disproportionately young black men)? Like, "Oops, sorry we kicked you out of school and ruined your life over some flimsy, unprovable allegation. Our bad. Look on the bright side, at least we're not hanging you anymore!"

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    Chuckled at this tweet:

    WhatCouldGoWrongHat @Popehat

    time to head over to the @Reason comments and find out what's wrong with me that nobody else has pointed out this week

    10:47 AM - 16 Nov 2018

  • DrZ||

    The ACLU needs to do some 'splaning. If the police and public justice system is inadequate then why isn't the ACLU fixing that?

    Why does the ACLU insist on subjecting accusers and the accused to Kollege Kangaroo Kourts?

  • John C. Randolph||

    The ACLU jumped the shark back in the 80s when they tried to force a kid to return to the Soviet Union against his will. They've been useless fucking poseurs ever since.

    -jcr

  • TLBD||

    Popehat is a moron. Used to respect that guy. A "maybe" I've been wrong doesn't cut it. He needs a full throated apology for being an epic douche with severe TDS.

  • last liberal||

    if these changes make things "more dangerous for women" in college, couldn't we make the same argument about the exclusionary rule voiding convictions based on miranda mistakes, or probable cause issues making things more dangerous for the general pubic. This might also include releasing criminals from crowded prisons because of eighth amendment violations, presumption of innocence, guilty beyond reasonable doubt, etc. The courts have decided you can't just tilt the process towards an accuser regardless of the potential harm to the general good.

  • Seamus||

    Yes, yes you could. So once the Dems take control of the White House again, look for the appointment of law-and-order judges who will get rid of that nonsense, at least in cases involving sexual assault. (Murderers and armed robbers will probably still get the benefit of Miranda, etc.)

  • Mr. JD||

    The American Cantankerous Leftists Union is doing exactly what we should expect it to do.

  • Caddyshack||

    Kind of confused about some of these comments about Kavanaugh. Must be some confusion, he was never facing criminal charges.

  • Bill Poser||

    I am stunned. I can no longer support the ACLU.

  • Benitacanova||

    Perplexed by the last line. Colored men deserve due process but white men no?

  • Mister Bear||

    > I am astonished to see the ACLU take the
    > position that a government policy gives an
    > accused person too many rights,

    ACLU isn't what it used to be and, on top of that, DeVos is a Trump appointee. Therefore everything that person does is automatically bad, because Orange Man Bad and all that. I wish I were joking, but have you taken a look at what is happening? Many organizations are supporting what they opposed, or are opposing what they supported, purely because of this irrational hated for Trump.

    People in this country have no principles anymore. It's all about the tribalism. It's all about "winning" at any cost. Democrat Party is the worst by FAR when it comes to this. The worst part is that the American people are putting up with it, even encouraging it. Disgusting and disappointing.

  • Rob Misek||

    All these articles about division, bias and hatred describe the same problem. People choose a side, to the highest level of office, then argue all issues from that unwavering biased perspective. That's why agreement is unattainable.

    Left and right, capitalism and socialism are artificial constructs. It is unnatural to force all issues into one or the other. They are designed to divide.

    The only natural division is between right and wrong, based on justice and defined by truth. If you disagree, I need only ask, what makes you believe that to be true?

    In my observation, the rewording of IX is problematic. How else can you prove you can't go to school other than by not going?

  • Rockabilly||

    As Freud once quipped: control the penis and you control the mind

  • mtrueman||

    Sex has always been fraught with danger. Just ask Peewee Herman, or any Praying Mantis you come across. Your government's efforts to make sex safe and rape less risky run counter to nature and god's intentions. Sex should be dangerous if survival of the fittest is to mean anything in this overly coddled world of ours. I'm shocked to see commenters here in agreement with coddling bureaucrats.

  • mtrueman||

    "in this overly coddled world of ours"

    I wish there were an edit button. "In this overly coddled world in which we live in," is more in line with what I want to say.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Left wing lynch mobs aren't afraid of law. They are the law.

  • mtrueman||

    Laws are for low rent schmoes like you. If you've got enough money and friends in high places, you can grab that pussy with impunity.

  • Toranth||

    Bill Clinton did get away with rape, true.

  • mtrueman||

    And here's you looking to other politicians and bureaucrats hoping they will facilitate your own pitiful efforts to rape, grope and do sexy things.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Presumption of innocence until proven guilty has always been the basis of our justice system. And yes, innocent until proven guilty favors the accused. That is the way it should be, otherwise you live in a dictatorship, which colleges seem to have become as of lately.

  • mtrueman||

    How do you prove someone guilty of rape?

  • MSimon||

    " End Rape on Campus"

    Which end?

  • posmoo||

    Progressives have never had principles, just tactics they use in their project to remake humanity that can be adopted and abandoned as convenient. When their ideas were heterdox they found freedom of speech, freedom of association, and due process convenient. No that their ideas are the orthodox they have become a burden. It surprises Robby that the ACLU has abandoned free speech and due process Robby, but literally no one who has paid attention.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Thank God the ACLU no longer believes in that archaic, oppressive and cruel concept of due process.
    Now that wonderful organization can get going on other anti-State ideas like free speech, private gun ownership, owning property, voting, and host of other nefarious ideas that impede The State from becoming a true socialist utopia like the people have in North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.
    It makes one wonder what took the ACLU to get it right after all these years?

  • Dori_G||

    So disappointing. As an attorney, I'm shocked that any fellow attorney would "believe all women" at the expense of due process. Let alone the ACLU. Never donating again. Never supporting again. And I know many other lawyers who feel the exact same way. Sad!

    Dori
    www.LittleLibertarians.com

  • AnAmusedOutsider||

    I am not sure when exactly the ACLU lost its way, but it has lost its way. They are way too obsessed with identity politics.

    I told them about a situation involving what a particular court system is putting criminal defendants through as they are awaiting adjudication of their cases (they have not been convicted of a crime yet). The situation involves illegal "supervision fees" (which are illegal because there is no state law authorizing them), 13th Amendment violations (because these criminal defendants are forced to do "community service" in certain circumstances, such as not being employed).

    They told me they were unable to assist me with it. However, they did find it worth their time to assist a Christian woman who was told she had to remove her headscarf for her drivers license photo. I am not sure how many people such an issue affects, but I know it is a small fraction of the number of people affected by the wrongdoings about which I informed the ACLU.

  • CDRSchafer||

    Just another wing of the Democratic Party. Nothing special or interesting about it.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online