“Due Process Stops at the Campus Gates?”

My Cato colleague Ilya Shapiro on the Obama Education Department’s unsettling insistence that colleges and universities, on pain of losing federal dollars, pare back the due process accorded to those accused of sexual misconduct. [Cato at Liberty]

Plus: earlier on Yale’s submissive reaction to Title IX complaint and suspension of a fraternity. More: “hostile environment” Title IX complaints leveled against other schools as well; Cathy Young on campus sexual assault numbers.


  • George Will once joked about forcing liberals to set up a zero-sum account for two things: AIDS research, and arts funding. Then watch the fun begin.

    The tension between due process and “women’s rights” is another enjoyable liberal-on-liberal conflict. On the one hand, defendants can’t be railroaded — they’ve got rights! On the other, any time a woman claims assault, she’s got rights! What to do, what to do?

    Prediction: “women’s rights” (the quote marks should be neon and flashing, btw) will probably win. That’s because “oppressed class” identity politics typically trump broader-based, classically liberal values like due process (not here suggesting conservatives don’t want due process at all, just that “due process” is often thrown up by liberals as a way of achieving other values). Charged with a hate crime against Hispanics? No due process for you! And so on.

  • The conservative solution: get rid of due process AND women’s rights.

  • In the CATO article Mr. Shapiro says:
    “Now, it is undoubtedly extraordinarily difficult for a rape victim to face her attacker, ….”

    Really? Was this very wide held belief ever tested in some way? It is the key reason for granting an edge to the accuser in a rape case.

    Justice Ginsberg talked the court into finding for the plaintiff in the mis-labeled strip-search case. The proposed embarrassment of the female plaintiff carried the day. But Justice Ginsberg had no objection to the 24 year sentence, based on a kangaroo court trial, imposed on Jeff Skilling.

    When we assert in the pledge of allegiance “liberty and justice for all.” It means for all based on evidence without fancy.

  • […] “The Dept of Education, Yale, and the New Threat to Free Speech on Campus” [Greg Lukianoff/HuffPo] “In Making Campuses Safe for Women, a Travesty of Justice for Men” [Christina Sommers, Chron Higher Ed] Feds crack down on campus flirting and sex jokes [Michael Barone, D.C. Examiner] Heather Mac Donald on Yale hostile-environment complaint [City Journal, earlier] […]