- December Cato conference on criminal justice (Ken White, Harvey Silverglate, Hon. Shira Scheindlin, Kevin Ring, too many others to list) now online (earlier);
- Justice Scalia and criminal law: Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention panel with Rachel Barkow, Stephanos Bibas, Orin Kerr, Paul Larkin, Jr., and Hon. Stephen Markman (Michigan SC), moderated by Hon. David Stras (Minnesota SC).
- Nominee Neil Gorsuch and the criminal law [Andrew Fleischman/Fault Lines, William Patrick/Florida Watchdog, Kevin Ring, Eugene Volokh]
- Are you sure you want to prosecute drug overdoses as murders? [Scott Greenfield]
- “Three anonymous allegations of criminal activity within the past year” can result in eviction threat under NYC’s no-fault nuisance eviction law [Allie Howell, Economics 21]
- Think lawmaking was more rational in the old days? How panic in Congress brought us the 1986 drug law [Radley Balko]
- If your mission is truth-finding or criminal justice, “Start By Believing” is wrong approach [Eugene Volokh on campaign by Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women] Two ethicists propose demoting standard of proof in U.K. rape prosecutions from beyond a reasonable doubt to preponderance of the evidence [Aeon via Community of the Wrongly Accused, which takes a different view]
- Student claims public college required him to mouth correct views regarding social justice as part of class. Not since Barnette v. West Virginia you don’t [Ilya Shapiro and Devin Watkins on Cato amicus brief in Felkner v. Rhode Island College (“The First Amendment prohibits government actors from compelling private citizens to express views with which they disagree.”)]
- In the mail: KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s “The Campus Rape Panic: The Attack on Due Process at American Universities” [Encounter Books; review, Robert VerBruggen; plus excerpt; interview with Taylor] “The Title IX Mess: Will It Be Reformed?” [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus]
- Departing Obama administration revises Common Rule on IRB/institutional review board human subjects protection [NEJM, Verrill Dana redline via Michelle Meyer, Zachary Schrag first, second, third posts on implications for social science research]
- Notwithstanding early reports, PEN America report on campus expression mounts “unflinching defense of free speech” [Anthony Fisher, Vox; related, José Cabranes/Washington Post and Orin Kerr]
- U.K.: graduate sues Oxford for negligent teaching, wants £1 million [Lowering the Bar, more links at Paul Caron/TaxProf]
- When should you report classmates to the Syracuse University administration? Suspect behavior includes “avoiding or excluding others,” “telling jokes based on a stereotype,” “posting or commenting on social media related to someone’s identity in a bias matter,” “imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice” [guidelines (from mission statement: “never privatize any wrongful act, no matter how small”) via Robby Soave]
New Illinois legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner will force hairdressers, as a prerequisite of licensing, to take training in detecting evidence of domestic violence [Ann Althouse, New York Times] Earlier here (Ohio requires training in recognizing signs of human trafficking) and here (programs in at least eight states as of 2006, generally not however conscripting the beauty professionals’ participation).
More from Mark Steyn:
…in the Fifties one in 20 members of the workforce needed government permission to do his job. Now it’s one in three. The original justification for requiring a government permit to cut another person’s hair is that a salon contains potentially dangerous chemicals such as coloring products. Making the license conditional upon acing sexual-assault training courses is not just the usual Big Government expansion but the transformation of the relationship between a private business and the state.
- “Free Speech on Campus: A Challenge of Our Times,” recent speech by University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone;
- University of Virginia puts professor on leave of absence after comments critical of Black Lives Matter [Hans Bader] “Yes, Brooklyn College really has a Director of Diversity Investigations.” One prof’s experience [David Seidemann/Minding the Campus]
- “Lawyer: Why the lower standard of evidence in college sexual-assault cases is dangerous” [Robert Shibley] It’s rare for the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights to stick up in favor of due process rights for accused students, but that just happened in Wesley College case [Jake New/Inside Higher Ed, Tyler Kingkade/BuzzFeed, ED press release]
- “Northern Michigan University had — and perhaps still has — a policy subjecting students to discipline if they share suicidal thoughts with their peers.” So how bad an idea is that? [Ken White, Popehat]
- “Historically Black Colleges and Universities struggle with Title IX compliance” [American Sports Council on reporting by David Squires/The Undefeated]
- “University Of Michigan Gets Lost In The Tall SJW Weeds” [Amy Alkon] Georgetown offers legacy status to applicants descended from university-owned slaves; showy gesture, but anything more? [Scott Greenfield] “American University Student Government Launches Campaign for Mandatory Trigger Warnings” [Robby Soave]
…where he was at length told, “Even if I were to agree with you, you know I can’t say anything.” [Ann Althouse] Relatedly, “The Sex Bureaucracy” is the title of the widely noted new article by Jacob Gersen and Jeannie Suk in California Law Review (via Hans Bader):
…we focus on higher education to tell the story of the sex bureaucracy. The story is about the steady expansion of regulatory concepts of sex discrimination and sexual violence to the point that the regulated domain comes to encompass ordinary sex. The mark of bureaucracy is procedure and organizational form. Over time, federal prohibitions against sex discrimination and sexual violence have been interpreted to require educational institutions to adopt particular procedures to respond, prevent, research, survey, inform, investigate, adjudicate, and train. The federal bureaucracy required nongovernmental institutions to create mini-bureaucracies, and to develop policies and procedures that are subject to federal oversight. That oversight is not merely, as currently assumed, of sexual harassment and sexual violence, but also of sex itself.
And: “Judge reinstates Brown Univ. student accused of sexual misconduct, blasts ‘organized’ pressure to get him not to” [Fred Barbash, Washington Post]
New court reforms proposed by the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice would do away with many criminal defendants’ right to cross-examine accusers before a jury. The rules provide that what are deemed “vulnerable” victims and witnesses, mostly in sex cases, will instead be allowed to undergo cross-examination recorded in advance for later play in court. [BBC] Here in the U.S., the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause might have a thing or two to say about that.
“In a rebuke to a feminist idea that has migrated from college campuses to mainstream culture, an influential legal group overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday a provision that would have endorsed an ‘affirmative consent’ standard for the purpose of defining sexual assault.” [Bradford Richardson, Washington Times] The American Law Institute proposals, which would have significantly expanded the definition of criminal sexual assault, had drawn sustained criticism from some civil libertarians [Stuart Taylor, Jr., John Fund, Ashe Schow/Washington Examiner; more, Scott Greenfield first and second posts] The ALI project in general is supposed to be aimed at restating courts’ current consensus in applying and interpreting the law, but often becomes the scene of efforts to tug the law in one direction or another. “Affirmative consent” has made inroads as a standard in the college disciplinary setting.
When a self-promoter trolls the online outrage machine, freedom of travel and assembly wind up as collateral damage [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason on the “Roosh” furor and resulting shut-him-down efforts; Daily Mail] The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey speaks to Southern Poverty Law Center official Heidi Beirich who seems to find it regrettable that “a guy with a blog” should get so much free publicity, seeming to forget who gave him so much of it.
- Fee-vergnügen: John Edwards, who knows a thing or two about tactical concealment, seeks to rep Volkswagen owners in mass litigation [Grist, Politico]
- Speaking of auto litigation: first General Motors ignition case goes to trial, automaker charges fraud, plaintiffs hire criminal counsel [Bloomberg, more]
- The Maryland redistricting project I was involved in this past fall has now resulted in a bill filed with the legislature by Gov. Larry Hogan [Danielle Gaines/Frederick News-Post, WBAL, Anjali Shastry/Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, earlier]
- Discovery and other procedural reforms in the federal courts: “Chief Justice Roberts on speedier civil litigation … and dueling?” [Howard Wasserman, PrawfsBlawg]
- Shackled Philly priest died in prison, accused by “Billy Doe.” But how well does Doe’s story hold up? Questions about another big sex assault story from Rolling Stone/Sabrina Rubin Erdely that preceded their U.Va./”Jackie” tale [Ralph Cipriano/Newsweek, Robby Soave/Reason].
- “Oversimplification is at the heart of a Coates-style approach to the reparations issue.” [John McWhorter on an unexpected bid to get me to side with Bernie Sanders; more on reparations, Glenn Loury and (missed this earlier) Jonathan Blanks, Rare, 2014]
- Federal Trade Commission went after LabMD on data security complaint. Unlike so many targets, LabMD chose to fight the FTC. And then… [Steven Boranian, Drug and Device Law, earlier]
“A man cleared of raping a woman has been ordered to give police 24 hours’ notice before he has sex. … The order – which was drawn up by magistrates in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and extended in York – reads: ‘You must disclose the details of any female including her name, address and date of birth. You must do this at least 24 hours prior to any sexual activity taking place.'” The order also limits his access to the internet and cellphones and requires him to notify police should he change his residence.
“Sexual risk orders were introduced in England and Wales in March last year and can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime. They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police.” Note, again, that according to the reports he was acquitted of the charge, not convicted. [BBC York and North Yorkshire News, Guardian]