WELL, YES: Dershowitz and Other Professors Decry ‘Pervasive and Severe Infringement’ of Student Rights.
A group of law professors are accusing the civil rights office of the U.S. Education Department of taking “unlawful actions” that have led to “pervasive and severe infringements” of speech rights and due-process protections on college campuses.
An open letter signed by Harvard University professor Alan Dershowitz and 20 other legal scholars blasts a series of directives issued by the federal office to schools on dealing with sexual misconduct and harassment complaints from students.
We recognize that sexual harassment represents unacceptable conduct, and those found responsible should be appropriately sanctioned. Some of us have witnessed the injustices resulting from institutions that downplay or ignore sexual harassment on their campuses, and we commend [the Office of Civil Rights] for taking a proactive approach to this problem.
In pursuing its objectives, however, OCR has…ignored constitutional law, judicial precedent and Administrative Procedure Act requirements by issuing numerous directives, and then enforcing these directives by means of onerous investigations and accompanying threats to withhold federal funding. OCR has brazenly nullified the Supreme Court definition of campus sexual harassment. These unlawful actions have led to pervasive and severe infringements of free speech rights and due process protections at colleges and universities across the country.
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