Archives

Welcome to my archives. This is a long list of most of the commentaries and longer articles I have written since 1989; the hundreds of articles I wrote for the New York Times from 1980-1988 can be found via the SELECTED MEDIA OUTLETS box. They are sorted by date, with the most recent posts first. If you want to find something specific, I would encourage you to use the search feature in the sidebar. It is powered by Google. It is fast and accurate.

Privilege and Precedent: It is far from clear that Mueller can compel Trump to testify before his grand jury.

The Weekly Standard

Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to talk to the president. With the pitched battle of words forever escalating—Trump’s new team of gloves-off lawyers and his vocal supporters pitted against the special counsel’s own proponents in the media—many exude confidence in Mueller’s power to subpoena the president’s testimony, assuming the eventual backing of the Supreme Court. But let’s slow down a bit. Although Mueller has warned Trump’s lawyers that he might subpoena the president if he refuses to testify voluntarily, he might well elect not to. The two sides could compromise on a deal for testimony on limited subjects or only […]

The Yale Rape Trial Isn’t Over Yet

The Weekly Standard

The March 7 acquittal by a New Haven jury of a suspended Yale student on charges of raping a classmate has been much lamented on campus and in the national media. But a review of the evidence shows that the trial was fair, the defense was ethical, and there was much more than a reasonable doubt about the accuser’s claim that she was so drunk as to lack the capacity to consent. The facts of this he-said, she-said case are that Saifullah Khan, a then-22-year-old Yale senior, and his accuser, also a senior, had Halloween dinner together at the dorm’s […]

Discredited Sex Assault Research Infects U.S. Legal System

Real Clear Politics

When a toxin enters a biological ecosystem, its effect is magnified as it moves up the food chain. Even if it can be cut off at the source, the ever-widening distribution of its increasingly harmful form can cause problems for decades. Misinformation functions in a similar fashion, gaining traction as it’s repeated by increasingly high-profile individuals who venture ever further from the source material. In this manner, distortion about the facts of sexual assault has affected the training of judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officials. It is how misleading assertions become embedded in criminal and military law. This is […]

End the Bias in Campus Sexual-Misconduct Tribunals

Real Clear Politics

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her advisers have made a remarkably good start at ending the Obama administration’s abuse of federal regulatory power to attack the due-process rights of university students accused of sexual assault. But the more important task—the crafting of Title IX regulations to ensure fair treatment for both parties in campus cases—is ahead. Last September, DeVos publicly called for fairness to both sides in campus adjudications. About two weeks later, the Education Department withdrew the Title IX “guidance” that the Obama administration had imposed to specify guilt-presuming procedures for the nation’s colleges and universities to use. DeVos has also ended […]

The Title IX Training Travesty

The Weekly Standard

In November 2014, a female member of Brown University’s debate team had oral sex with a male colleague while they watched a movie. Eleven months later, she filed a complaint with Brown, accusing him of sexual assault. Both parties in the case had credibility issues; he had violated a no-contact order, she had withheld from the university the bulk of their text messages. But the accused student possessed strong exculpatory evidence. He produced the full record of their communications, which included texts from the accuser to him discussing the encounter in a highly positive fashion and referencing a “plan” to […]

What Betsy DeVos Gets Right About Campus Sexual Assault

Time

On Sept. 7, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took on one of former President Barack Obama’s most controversial regulatory actions: a set of 2011 campus disciplinary procedures for students accused of sexual assault. Arguing that victims of assault were being denied justice, the Obama White House weakened traditional protections for the accused, like presumption of innocence and the right to cross-examine an accuser. DeVos, in a speech at George Mason University, said the system “is shameful, it is wholly un-American, and it is anathema to the system of self-governance to which our Founders pledged their lives over 240 years ago.” Not surprisingly, DeVos was […]

Overruled

The Weekly Standard

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on September 22 formally rescinded the Obama administration’s commands that universities use unfair rules in sexual-misconduct investigations—rules that had the effect of finding more students guilty of sexual assault. And she appears also to be preparing for far more forceful due-process protections down the road. Those follow-on regulations could require schools to presume that accused students are innocent unless proven guilty, to allow rigorous cross-examination of accusers, and perhaps also to grant the accused the unqualified right to appeal adverse decisions, and more. Meanwhile, the modest improvements that DeVos included in the “interim guidance” of September […]

DeVos Pledges to Restore Due Process

Wall Street Journal

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made clear her intention to correct one of the Obama administration’s worst excesses—its unjust rules governing sexual misconduct on college campuses. In a forceful speech Thursday at Virginia’s George Mason University, Mrs. DeVos said that “one rape is one too many”—but also that “one person denied due process is one too many.” Mrs. DeVos declared that “every student…

The Trump administration should force colleges to disclose data on race in admissions: Let’s see how preferences work

NY Daily News

As the Trump administration prepares to investigate a highly plausible but previously neglected 2015 complaint to federal agencies by 64 Asian-American groups that Harvard uses illegal racial admissions quotas to limit Asian-Americans, all sides in the racial-preference controversy wonder whether officials may have bigger things in mind. Although I am very far from being a Trump fan, I hope they do. I especially hope that the administration will force universities that consider race in admissions to disclose for the first time the so-far-closely-guarded data that would expose the nature and size of their preferences and the academic impact on supposed […]