In a recent column at National Review, Tiana Lowe suggests Betsy DeVos should end this practice once and for all.
Dear Betsy: End the Kafkaesque Kangaroo Courts of Title IX
Of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet appointees, few have attracted as much ire as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Nor does any other Trump secretary face as troubling a terrain to navigate, save for maybe Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The cost of college has soared to record highs — in no small part thanks to the federal government’s unlimited loans — and faith in the moral benefit and economic necessity of universities has sunk.
And on top of that, DeVos has taken it upon herself to deconstruct perhaps the most contentious of the Department of Education’s jurisdictions: its directives for campus sexual-assault cases, which are issued pursuant to Title IX, the federal law banning sex discrimination in higher education. When DeVos invited experts on the issue to private listening sessions, the voice given to men accused of sexual assault drew outrage from sexual-assault victims.
By the numbers, this is not entirely unjustified. Statistically speaking, false sexual-assault accusations constitute a minority of all claims, maybe 10 percent at most, but likely closer to 5 percent. (As with all sexual-assault statistics, it is important to note that these estimates are imprecise.) However, as the Obama administration led the Department of Education on a social-justice march toward a total abandonment of individual justice in favor of virtue signaling, Kafkaesque trials of every possible kind sprouted across the country.
Obama’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter imposed a number of measures on campus sexual-assault cases; they were far too stringent in some domains while ignoring others. Most controversially, this “guidance” document suggested (in practice, required) that universities try sexual-assault cases using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard — meaning a student is punished, possibly expelled, if it’s more likely than not he is guilty — rather than the “clear and convincing evidence” standard, a higher burden that still requires less proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal trials.
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