Conservatives have been complaining for years about the Title IX complaint process, or LACK OF DUE PROCESS involved in Title IX trials on college campuses.
This week, Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a ruling that SHOULD put a stop to this. The case in question was your garden variety sexual assault complaint that is filed on college campuses every day: boy and girl are dating, girl alleges boy engaged in sexual contact without her consent (usually there is drinking involved, but in this case the victim alleges it occurred when she was asleep.) There are no witnesses. There is no physical evidence. It is literally a matter of “she said/he said.”
These cases are a nightmare for real courts to decide. They’re painful for the alleged victims as well as for the accused. Most women don’t even report such crimes to the authorities. I was a victim of sexual assault myself. And no, I didn’t call the police either. The thought of being grilled by cops and cross examined by attorneys – it was just too much to bear. I would have preferred to take my complaint to sympathetic college administrators.
And that’s the whole problem. In an attempt to make sexual assault cases less brutal for the victims, college campuses have made them nearly impossible for the accused. Granted a college can’t sentence you to jail, but they can expel you from college. They can keep you from ever being admitted to another college. They can, in short, ruin your life.
Which is exactly what happened here. The plaintiff in this case lost his ROTC scholarship and was expelled by Purdue. In his lawsuit he states that he was not provided with the evidence against him, nor was he allowed to question his accuser or present witnesses on his behalf. He was found guilty in spite of the fact that 2 members of the panel didn’t even read the evidence file before deciding he was guilty.
None of this would occur in a real court. We have rules. We have LAWS! We have due process. Of course, college campuses don’t have to adhere to any of those things, they have been empowered under Title IX to decide guilt or innocence without them.
Or they were until this lawsuit. In a tactic that is being used more often by accused males, this plaintiff argued that HIS rights had been violated under Title IX. And the court agreed.
” The plausibility of that inference is strengthened by a post that CARE [the university center dedicated to supporting victims of sexual assault] put up on its Facebook page during the same month that John was disciplined: an article from The Washington Post titled “Alcohol isn’t the cause of campus sexual assault. Men are.” Construing reasonable inferences in John’s favor, this statement, which CARE advertised to the campus community, could be understood to blame men as a class for the problem of campus sexual assault rather than the individuals who commit sexual assault. And it is pertinent here that Bloom, CARE’s director, wrote the letter regarding Jane to which Sermersheim apparently gave signiﬁcant weight.”
In other words, the college believed the accuser because she was a woman.
This is a significant ruling that should – if followed – restore due process to college student of both genders. But we shouldn’t have to turn to the courts or wait for the Department of Education to undo the weaponization of Title IX. Congress won’t act, but state legislatures still have the power to ban this type of discrimination. Sexual assault is a serious crime. It needs to be handled in the real courts and carry real punishments – for the guilty. College students are not a protected class of citizens. Female college students should not be entitled to a different level of justice than rape victims that AREN’T college students. It’s called “equal protection under the law.” Judge Barrett has reminded us that it still applies here in America.