“I think what I said in the tweet, the regulation permits students to rape and sexually harass with impunity. I think that the regulation has weakened the intent of Title IX that Congress wrote.”
We haven’t heard much about campus “rape culture” ever since the idea of abolishing the police became trendy in higher education, but Biden’s pick to lead civil rights at the Department of Education is bringing it back.
Under Trump, Betsy DeVos fought to uphold the concept of due process on campus. Now Catherine Lhamon wants to reverse that.
Kelly Laco reports at FOX News:
Biden nominee claims Trump-era Title IX regs protecting due process allow students to ‘rape with impunity’
President Biden’s pick to head the civil rights division under the Department of Education (DOE) testified Tuesday that she would uphold a Trump-era Title IX regulation even though she claimed it lets students “rape and sexually harass students with impunity.”
Title IX is the 1972 law barring discrimination based on sex in education and has been the center of heated debate over penalties for students accused of sexual misconduct at universities across the U.S.
During Catherine Lhamon’s Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., questioned her about a previous statement in which she criticized Title IX regulations implemented by former President Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Lhamon defended a May 2020 tweet, claiming that the Trump-era Title IX regulations allow students to “rape and sexually harass students with impunity.”
Here’s Lhamon’s 2020 tweet:
.@BetsyDeVosED presides over taking us back to the bad old days, that predate my birth, when it was permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity. Today’s students deserve better, including fair protections consistent with law https://t.co/Kxn5teeYnE
— Catherine E. Lhamon (@CatherineLhamon) May 6, 2020
Kelly Laco goes on to describe how Lhamon responded when pressed on this:
Sen. Cassidy asked Lhamon during the hearing about her tweet: “Do you think as if the law, the way it is implemented, that it has given the right to rape and sexually harass with impunity?”
Lahmon doubled down on her previous statement answering, “I think what I said in the tweet, the regulation permits students to rape and sexually harass with impunity. I think that the regulation has weakened the intent of Title IX that Congress wrote.”
Is it a good idea to put someone who believes students will “rape with impunity” in charge of civil rights in education? Lhamon is a radical.
In June, R. Shep Melnick, a professor of politics, and Peter H. Schuck, a professor of law, wrote the following for Real Clear Education:
Biden’s Troubling Nominee to Head the Office of Civil Rights
President Biden’s nomination of Catherine Lhamon to head the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) tests how effectively the Senate will oversee the same influential federal agency that Lhamon led during the Obama administration. Then, she adopted sweeping, legally dubious, widely-criticized interpretations of civil rights laws on three controversial issues: sexual harassment, transgender rights, and school discipline. Here, as with dozens of other “guidance” documents, she refused to engage in the public consultation required by the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA), a process that might well have prevented the legal and political fiascos that followed.
First, invoking Title IX, a 1972 law banning sex discrimination in federally-funded educational institutions, she redefined sexual harassment so broadly and with so few procedural rights for the accused that protests and lawsuits erupted from all sides of the political spectrum. She pressured schools to inflate their Title IX bureaucracies and adopt a “single investigator” model in which one person appointed by the school’s Title IX office collects evidence and determines guilt or innocence—with no hearing, no cross-examination of witnesses, and limited right to appeal. The ACLU denounced these truncated procedures, and scores of defendants—often supported by prominent legal experts, feminists, and civil libertarians—persuaded federal courts to reject them.
Also, in June, writers Justin Dillon and Stuart Taylor Jr. published this op-ed in USA Today:
Ending due process: Reinstating Catherine Lhamon at the Dept. of Education is a mistake
It is now so common in Washington to oppose even a president’s lower-level nominees that no one takes such opposition seriously anymore. It’s just more partisan background noise. The problem with crying “wolf,” of course, is that when the wolf finally comes, no one listens.
Now, however, the wolf is at the door. Her name isCatherine Lhamon, and she is being nominated to retake her old job – head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).She played a major role during the Obama administration in ruining the educations and often the lives of countless students – almost all of them male – who were found guilty of sexual assault under flagrantly unfair, effectively guilt-presuming rules dictated by her office. Her commands also pressured universities to ignore or discount powerful evidence of innocence.
So this time around, Congress needs to heed the cry.
The Trump administration gave America a reprieve from campus kangaroo courts.
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