Civil libertarian Wendy Kaminer, writing at WBUR, says the new White House task force report on campus sexual assault
reflects a presumption of guilt in sexual assault cases that practically obliterates the due process rights of the accused. Students leveling accusations of assault are automatically described as “survivors” or “victims” (not alleged victims or complaining witnesses), implying that their accusations are true….
Thus the task force effectively prohibits cross-examination of complaining witnesses. … But by barring cross-examination, you also protect students who are mistaken or lying, and you victimize (even traumatize) students being falsely accused…. School officials are also encouraged to substitute a “single investigator” model for a hearing process, which seems a prescription for injustice.
More links on the current controversy:
- In the Brown University rape-charge scandal, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has declared that the complaining student was “nearly choked to death” and that her former boyfriend “should be in jail.” His side, as told to Cathy Young, is at the Daily Beast here;
- There are no ambiguities. Or are there? [Sandy Hingston, Philly magazine]
- My Commentary piece last summer on related issues: “Sentence First, Verdict Afterward”
- The feds’ Title IX complaint against Tufts [Terry Hartle, Inside Higher Ed]
- KC Johnson coverage, Minding the Campus: OCR will investigate 55 schools; early reaction to White House report; Occidental has assured students and their parents that the process is committed to fairness; suits by male students at Columbia and Drew; taking issue with a Chronicle of Higher Ed investigation;
- More on the feds’ recent crackdown from Megan McArdle: “Rape on Campus Belongs in the Courts” [Bloomberg View]; the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)’s response; Hans Bader; Chronicle of Higher Education.
(& welcome Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit readers)