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 […]

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 […]

DeVos Pledges to Restore Due Process

Wall Street Journal

The Obama Education Department’s Title IX decree ‘failed too many students,’ she says. 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 accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.” This might seem like an obvious affirmation of fundamental American principles. But such sentiments were […]

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 […]

How to End a Campus Injustice With the Stroke of a Pen

Wall Street Journal

The Obama-era Title IX sex-crime regime should give way to real regulations that respect due process. With his legislative agenda in trouble, President Trump could do a lot of good by using his executive power to reverse an egregious example of the Obama administration’s bureaucratic tyranny. I refer to the 2011 command by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and subsequent orders, forcing thousands of schools to take an aggressive role in the investigation and punishment of alleged sex crimes on college campuses. Under threat of losing federal funds, almost all schools have willingly complied with a procedural regime […]

It’s Time to Improve Affirmative Action

National Journal

Now that the Supreme Court has blessed racial preferences, universities should be transparent about the costs and benefits to intended beneficiaries. By making clear that racial affirmative-action preferences in higher-education admissions are likely to have the Supreme Court’s blessing for many decades to come, the Court might—just might—have set the stage for a more candid and constructive public discussion about how to make preferences work more effectively for the intended beneficiaries. The June 23 decision should end the siege mentality among defenders of racial preferences—and that, in turn, should lead to much-needed transparency and honesty about the costs as well […]

Stanford sex assault case: Sentence was too short — but the system worked

Washington Post

Last week, a California judge sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Allen Turner to six months in jail for a horrifying sexual assault on an unconscious, alcohol-impaired woman. The resulting uproar over the sentence’s undue leniency risks missing the most important lesson of the case. Contrary to campus conventional wisdom, the Turner case shows that the best way to deal with a campus sexual assault problem is to rely on law enforcement professionals to protect women and to pursue justice, not on campus disciplinary systems run by amateur sex bureaucrats. The backlash against Turner’s sentence is being exploited by a […]

Why Trump’s Assault on the Judiciary Is the Most Dangerous Thing He’s Done

Politico

We should heed closely what Donald Trump has been saying about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego—perhaps more so than anything else he has said or done to date. The prospect that a President Trump might defy the judiciary and the rule of law, together with his vows to violate international treaties and his disrespect for domestic laws, may make him the most dangerous candidate in American history. There are so many things to deplore about Trump’s recent attacks on Curiel it is difficult to know where to begin. Trump has asserted that Curiel is unfit to hear […]

Legal Group Weighs Radical Expansion of Sex Crimes

Real Clear Politics

Imagine the following case: Two recent college grads meet in a bar, talk, begin kissing, and go to her apartment. After a little more talking, they resume kissing there. He undresses her and initiates sexual intercourse. She neither objects nor resists. He leaves, and they have no further contact. A month later, she files a criminal complaint with police, complaining that this was rape because she never expressed verbal consent and was physically passive. Under the law as it has been from time immemorial, the woman’s complaint would be rejected because her failure to say no or resist would be […]