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Court Says UMass Amherst Violated Student’s Due Process Rights

Court Says UMass Amherst Violated Student’s Due Process Rights

“public colleges must formally grant accused students the opportunity to be heard before punishment”

A student was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, and the school immediately suspended him.

The College Fix reports:

UMass violated due process by punishing accused student with no hearing, appeals court rules

Public colleges in New England were put on notice this week: They are not allowed to severely punish students based solely on unvetted allegations.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for immediately suspending a student accused of assaulting his girlfriend.

James Haidak remained suspended for five months without a formal hearing, violating his constitutional right to due process, according to the three-judge panel.

The opinion by Judge William Kayatta concluded that public colleges must formally grant accused students the opportunity to be heard before punishment, absent some documented “exigency.”

But the 1st Circuit stopped far short of the due-process requirements set over the past two years by the 6th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

It did not require universities to let accusers and accused students cross-examine each other directly or through representatives such as lawyers. The panel also gave broad leeway to adjudicators to decide which questions to ask each party from the other.

This sets up a circuit split that could draw the Supreme Court’s attention, though experts on student conduct proceedings were divided on how likely that was, in a report by Inside Higher Ed.


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Public colleges continue to believe they are some sort of extra-State agency, immune from the Bill of Rights. I have no idea where they got this idea, other than they made it up as they did so for so much class material. Maybe they read it in Zinn.

    MannSplainer in reply to puhiawa. | August 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Google “Resolution 114” “consent” “ABA”. Feminists have been pushing hard to remove due process and presumption of innocence for men for several years now. Most men have zero idea that this specific feminist battle against men’s rights has been waged for nearly a decade already. They’re again trying to push this removal of men’s rights through the ABA right now. The little misandrists are trying to slip this through in stealth mode by using questionable legalese hoping that no one notices. Feminists hold that women must always be believed and that immediate punitive action should be taken against men based solely on women’s accusations alone, the potential innocence of the ‘toxic male’ be damned. Feminists are determined to get men out of their way and will use any means necessary to destroy ‘The Evil Patriarchy’, those evil men who built and maintained all upon the earth and gave their lives in war to protect women from harm. Feminists are simply socialism’s daughter. Deceit’s favorite role is that of the victim, which is why feminists always play the victim card, even through women very often exploit and abuse men. Men who know their history and men that don’t cater to gynocentrism and male disposability know that the underlying premise of feminism is all a great big lie. Removal of presumption of innocence and due process for men is just the latest in a long line of anti-male policies and laws wrought through feminist’s careful and clever historical distortions and statistical slights of hand.

This isn’t the usual “conflict” between circuits. Here, both circuits ruled the accused student was entitled due process, with one circuit going farther than the other. Hardly a conflict.

This is why we need four more years of President Trump.

This is why we need four more years of President Trump.

President Trump will be more “flexible” with 4 more years

To kick some needed a$$

Universities need to refer all assault claims to law enforcement. Any action the university takes must be based on law enforcement findings. Period.

    puhiawa in reply to Sally MJ. | August 11, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    I find it extraordinarily disturbing that the colleges and purported victims believe they are equipped to handle felony assault or rape. In fact, I find it so unlikely as to question the existence of the alleged crime. When a girl is raped, she does not report to her diversity counselor, she calls the campus police, who are then to accompany her to the nearest police station or call for an ambulance.

At some Raimondo will be a recognized verb.

At some point, grrrrrrr

    Another Voice in reply to MajorWood. | August 11, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Having enjoyed other of your postings, the error of omission was not missed…it came through clearly…and on point!

Witch hunts, warlock trials, not limited to allegations of superior and involuntary exploitation, are a necessary wickedness for social progress. Think of the Great Leap, which outpaced the progress of other leftist, communist, socialist, fascist dreams with liberal degree.

If you read the opinion, you realize that, hidden within all of the technical language of constitutional law and statutory rights provisions, two kids had a tumultuous sometimes on sometimes off romantic relationship including a disputed encounter while they were on a semester abroad in Spain, and the result is that the male gets expelled from a public university and the female is never investigated. There is no way that any fair-minded person could read the facts in this case and decide that the law has worked appropriately here. Without giving either one of them a pass, it’s clear that the treatment was uneven and the best the court can say about that is that there’s no solid proof that they treated the male in a more shabby way. But the court wrote its own statement of facts, and I challenge any fair reader of those facts to come away without the feeling that that’s exactly what happened. That feeling may be based on inferences that are not cognizable in a court of law, but the inferences that ring true in most people’s experience. Among other things, most people would conclude that a university that could suspend the male for an indefinite period of time before conducting any procedures was suspect in whether those procedures, when eventually provided, were fair, and would not bend over backwards the way the court did to piece bits together to conclude that the expulsion procedures were fair. Moreover, in light of the unjustified prolonged suspension, most of us would not consider neutral the fact that the university refused to investigate his complaint against her. Nor would anyone give a pass to a university that had expelled 13 students in similar circumstances, all males, by speculating as the court did that, well, maybe the males this or maybe the males that. It feels like one of those cases where everybody hears hoofbeats, somebody asserts that it’s a zebra and nobody wants to check whether it really is a horse. It very well might be as zebra (after all nobody is saying that it’s a unicorn), but when you read the opinion you get the nagging sense that something is wrong here, from a draconian sentence for behavior thousands of miles away that is hardly unexpected in today’s student culture to the smell bias in favor of one sex over the other.