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November 14, 2018

DeVos to Announce New Title IX Rules That Guarantee Some Minimum Due Process Safeguards to the Accused

What a monster.

Can you believe accused people will have the chance to actually know what the charges against them are? What is this, a Harry Potter book where Voldemort lets Harry know what the charges against him are?!?!

Sorry, I don't think that was a good analogy. But I'm given to understand one should always reference Harry Potter or The Handmaid's Tale when outraged.

Educati on Secretary Betsy DeVos is set to release a sweeping overhaul of how colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment, giving new rights to the accused, including the ability to cross-examine their accusers, people familiar with the matter said.

The proposal is set for release before Thanksgiving, possibly this week, and replaces less formal guidance issued by the Obama administration in 2011. The new rules would reduce liability for universities, tighten the definition of sexual harassment, and allow schools to use a higher standard in evaluating claims of sexual harassment and assault.

...

The most significant change would guarantee the accused the right to cross-examine their accusers, though it would have to be conducted by advisers or attorneys for the people involved, rather than by the person accused of misconduct. If requested, the parties could be in separate rooms during the cross-examination, an administration official said. They said this was done to bolster the due process rights of the accused while assuring that victims are not directly confronted by their assailants.

...

Recent court decisions requiring public universities to allow the accused the right to cross-examination when credibility is an issue figured in the administration's reasoning, two people said.

...

The biggest may be the standard of proof required in assessing claims. Under the DeVos proposal, schools will be allowed to choose between "preponderance of the evidence" and the higher bar of "clear and convincing" evidence. The Obama guidelines had directed schools to use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard.

A choice, huh?

Well... not really, brah.

The regulation also will require schools to use the same standard in these cases as they use for other complaints, including those against employees and faculty. Many union contracts and other agreements with faculty mandate the use of a higher "clear and convincing" standard, several people said. So as a practical matter, most schools may be forced to apply the same higher bar for student complaints.

Seems fair -- if you think a mere preponderance of the evidence standard is enough to prove student misbehavior, then surely that standard also should suffice for college professors and administrators, right?

Right?


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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:09 PM

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