by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Whenever I read a court opinion describing a campus sexual-assault proceeding, I routinely find myself shocked at the staggering unfairness and ridiculous bias of campus kangaroo courts. Driven by the need to find more men guilty — and rationalized by a #BelieveWomen ideology — campus administrators have systematically discarded every fundamental notion of due process in American law.
Across the nation, courts on the right and on the left are saying no. They’re blocking biased sexual-assault adjudications, protecting basic fairness, and restoring a degree of sanity to colleges’ procedures. On Friday it was the turn of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to protect the Fourteenth Amendment, and an all-woman panel, led by Judge Amy Coney Barrett, established a precedent that could be used against woke college administrators nationwide.
The facts of the case are extraordinary. After a female college student accused her ex-boyfriend of groping her in her sleep, Purdue University conducted an investigation and adjudication so amateurish and biased that it’s frankly difficult to imagine that human adults could believe it was fair or adequate. …
… Judge Barrett was unsparing in her criticism of the university’s procedures. In perhaps the most telling critique, she noted that Purdue’s process, with its permanent, devastating consequences for the student’s career, “fell short of what even a high school must provide to a student facing a days-long suspension.” Withholding evidence from the plaintiff by itself was sufficient to render the process unfair. So was the failure to provide any means of meaningfully examining the accuser’s credibility. As Barrett wrote, the evidence suggests that the committee “decided that John was guilty based on the accusation rather than the evidence.”