Due Process, DeVos, and the Courts
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As the U.S. Department of Education considers the public comments to its proposed Title IX regulations, it’s worth considering how much the ground has shifted on questions related to Title IX and campus due process in the last two years. Six years of relentless pressure from the Obama administration’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had the effect, if not the intent, of creating a rigged campus system, in which accused students too often were essentially presumed guilty and then denied the tools necessary to establish their innocence. The last twenty-four months, by contrast, have featured an unprecedented amount of attention on the rights of the accused, and the unfair Title IX processes that too many universities use.
Two primary bases for the change exist. The first, of course, is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Campus sexual assault is a peculiar issue, in that the politicalincentives for aggressive action exist solely on one side. No politician wins points for standing up for the...