Team Biden’s Obama-era Title IX kangaroo court nixes fairness


Here we go again: Fifty years after President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law, banning sex-based discrimination in education, the Biden administration is moving to re-issue Obama-era regulations based on it that paved the way for kangaroo courts at colleges before they were nixed by Team Trump.

Specifically, the changes being pushed by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona would remove due process protections and other rules meant to ensure fairness for students accused of sexual misconduct.

The rules would:

  • Effectively jettison the requirement that “unwelcome conduct” harassment be “severe and pervasive” and instead require only that speech be sexual in nature and subjectively offensive.
  • No longer require schools to provide hearings at which students could cross-examine accusers.
Syracuse University
Syracuse University tops a long list of New York colleges and universities that judges have ruled against for their handling of sexual-harassment investigations.
AP
  • Allow colleges to use just a single investigator to adjudicate charges by conducting private interviews with the parties — who may never even get to interact with or pose questions to each other.
  • Scrap the requirement that the accused be guaranteed access to the evidence against them.
  • Mandate that university officials report suspected or rumored sexual misconduct, even if the purported victim chooses not to do so.

The changes are profoundly un-American and unfair to those accused of misconduct. They also defiantly flout court findings against them: As the nonprofit advocacy group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments points out, federal and state courts have found “widespread due process deficiencies for sexual harassment cases” at 16 New York campuses alone.

According to SAVE, the judges found the colleges were “failing to observe the most fundamental notions of fairness.”

No one wants to cover up actual sexual harassment, discrimination or assault. But colleges, like every other American institution, have a duty to be fair to both the accuser and the accused. The revival of the Obama-era rules governing sexual-harassment complaints opens the door once again to the possibility that students who are wrongly charged won’t be be given a fair chance to refute accusations against them and will suffer consequences such as expulsion and a ruined reputation.

Cases won’t be a matter of “he said, she said;” a mere “she said” would be grounds for guilt. That clearly has nothing to do with Title IX.



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