September 25, 2015

ASHE SCHOW: How schools can stop ‘civil rights’ trampling due process.

The civil rights of accusers — this right to an education in an environment where they don’t have to see men they accuse — can probably be protected without trampling the civil, legal and constitutional rights of accused students. Unfortunately, that’s not how things are currently done.

One way to accomplish this would be to let police and prosecutors handle the issue, as many in the criminal justice system have advocated. The justice system ensures that those found guilty of rape are removed from society, instead of just kicked off campus and left to prey on other victims. If police and prosecutors handle these cases, the real-world court system will protect accused student’s rights. It will also mete out punishments that are appropriately severe. Sexual assault is, after all, a crime. Perpetrators need to be held legally accountable.

But this logic falls apart if the real reason for the current ad hoc campus court system is to expel more students for political reasons rather than to actually combat a crime.

Maatz testified that by using a lower standard of evidence than at criminal trials — a preponderance of evidence, allowing administrators under federal pressure to be just 50.01 percent sure an assault was committed — is acceptable, because that’s the standard used in civil trials. But what Maatz failed to note is that civil trials also provide rules of evidence, discovery, right to effective counsel (not just a lawyer sitting silently in the background), subpoena power and sworn testimony. In civil court, there are safeguards against wrongful accusations. But such safeguards make it more difficult to convict without evidence, and so the activists are not fans of that system, either.

Nope. It’s a war on college men.

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