by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden has learned nothing from the Title IX due process disaster plaguing America’s campuses. The former vice president has released a plan on his website to restore the Obama administration’s infamous 2011 Dear Colleague letter, which Biden’s plan describes as outlining how to “fairly conduct Title IX proceedings.” In reality, the Dear Colleague letter introduced a monstrously unfair process that has forced hundreds of young men to sue for their rights — and reputations — in federal courts.
An accused’s rights to confront his or her accuser through cross examination and to have a neutral adjudicator have long been considered the very basics of due process. In the name of protecting women, the 2011 guidance encouraged universities to abandon these well-tested pillars in favor of a single-investigator model, in which a Title IX administrator both elicits the stories from the involved parties and rules on the outcome. The Dear Colleague letter also pushed universities into lowering the standard of proof and discouraged any kind of cross examination that might probe discrepancies in an alleged victim’s story.
Cynthia Garrett is a California attorney and co-president of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), an organization that advocates for due process and offers resources to the falsely accused. She says she is deeply concerned that Biden appears to be unaware of the downsides of the 2011 guidance.