by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s always worth reminding people that if President Joe Biden were compelled to live by the standards he intends to institute for college students accused of sexual misconduct, he would be presumed guilty of rape, denied any legitimate opportunity to refute Tara Reade’s charges, and tossed from office in disgrace.
The New York Times reports today that Biden’s Kafkaesque “White House Gender Policy Council” is “beginning his promised effort to dismantle Trump-era rules on sexual misconduct that afforded greater protections to students accused of assault.” The subhead informs us that, “The Biden administration will examine regulations by Betsy DeVos that gave the force of law to rules that granted more due-process rights to students accused of sexual assault.”
The most disingenuous word here — though the piece is brimming with them — is “more.” History did not begin in 2015, and former education secretary Betsy DeVos did not invent more due-process rights in Title IX; she simply reinstated time-honored fundamental due-process rights that have guided justice systems in the liberal world for hundreds of years. The Constitution says — twice — that no citizen shall be arbitrarily “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” No means no.
It was only in 2011 that the Obama administration instituted fewer due-process rights through the force of law, denying the accused the ability to question accusers, the right to review the allegations and evidence presented by their accuser, the right to present exculpatory evidence, and the right to call witnesses. Basically, the right to mount a defense.
It was the Obama administration that asked schools to institute a system that empowered a single investigator, often without any training and susceptible to the vagaries of societal and political pressures, to pass unilateral judgment on these cases.