January 31, 2017

"The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities"...

... is the title of the new book by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor (who co-authored "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case").

They talk about the new book here (at Volokh Conspiracy):
Despite horror stories like the one at Amherst, the mainstream media has poorly covered the campus sexual assault issue. There has been a handful of good work (most notably this Emily Yoffe article in Slate). More typical, however, has been the approach of the New York Times, which has virtually ignored concerns expressed by civil libertarian organizations and cohorts of law professors about the campus system’s unfairness. To the contrary, in an article about Stanford the Times recently portrayed the university’s process — which uses the lowest possible standard of proof, bans direct cross-examination by accused students, and has featured panelists who have been trained to believe that is it a sign of guilt for an accused student to respond to an accusation in a “persuasive and logical” way — as unfair to accusers. The reason? The school’s one fair rule — that the three panelists must be unanimous to justify a finding of guilty....

As for the universities, the power of identity politics has generally worked in tandem with the schools’ financial self-interest in appeasing federal officials who have the power to exact huge financial penalties to incubate unfairness toward accused students....
I immediately downloaded this book to my Kindle because — after writing the previous post about massive donations to the ACLU — I wanted to see where the organization stands on due process in campus sexual assault cases. I'm interested in the ACLU's vigor in disappointing donors who suddenly love the organization because of one issue. I highlighted free speech in my post, but I'd also wanted to say something about this due process problem, and my casual Googling had not turned up a clear answer.

There's not much about the ACLU in this book. This is the main reference:
[D]uring George W. Bush’s presidency, a handful of cases (at the University of Georgia, the University of Colorado, and Arizona State University) involving highly credible sexual assault allegations against college football and basketball players kept the issue in the public eye. In each case, the accuser filed a Title IX lawsuit against her school, alleging that it had knowingly recruited potentially violent felons solely because they were talented athletes and it had thereby shown deliberate indifference to the well-being of female students. Each case ended with a denial of the university’s motion to dismiss, followed by a settlement, driven by a hailstorm of negative publicity, in which the university apologized for not doing enough to protect women on campus. The American Civil Liberties Union filed amicus briefs supporting the Arizona State and Colorado plaintiffs.

20 comments:

Mike Sylwester said...

Let's have a contest about what to call this post.

Mike Sylwester said...

"Althouse Puts the ACLU on Trial"

campy said...

I suspect the ACLU is totally fine with the denial of due process for accused males in kampus kangaroo kourts, and will eventually support it in criminal cases as well.

Xmas said...

Can we compare and contrast using Federal government money to shape college sexual assault policy and Trump talking about pulling funding from "Sanctuary Cities"?

traditionalguy said...

Fund Raising is first, followed by fund raising, followed by fund raising. It is a system of priorities.

Owen said...

I read the book. It is quite damning of the sexual assault policies and programs on campuses and the hysteria (and political ambition) that have produced them. Having read the same authors' book on the Duke lacrosse fiasco (well summarized in this new book) I think they do responsible, careful work and I have not seen any substantive rebuttal of it. The schools should be ashamed of the mess they have made of this issue. Maybe under a new administration they will be able to do better.

David Begley said...

"knowingly recruited potentially violent felons"

What?!

Coaches can't even predict who will be a good player versus who will be a potential violent felon.

The Drill SGT said...

looks to be a good week to read the VC

Sebastian said...

@Mike S: "Keep hope alive." "Will Althouse find an ACLU action that deviates from progressive orthodoxy? Stay tuned!"

Bad Lieutenant said...

David Begley said...
"knowingly recruited potentially violent felons"

What?!

Coaches can't even predict who will be a good player versus who will be a potential violent felon.


Men. They recruited men.

David said...

The book was reviewed recently in the Wall Street Journal. I wasn't moved to buy and read it and I wondered why, since it's a topic that interests me and I had read Johnson's previous book on the Duke lacrosse team case and it was well done.

I'm trying this on for size for why I avoided the book. The book is simply too depressing and discouraging. We have gotten to the point that, under powerful pressure from the Federal government and others, most of our universities, supposedly the bedrock of our intellectual life and important repositories of our knowledge of the past, have created systems that are massively unfair and inconsistent with our historic principles of justice. The average person dares not question this massive apparatus without high risk of personal or professional woe and possibly destruction. The underlying source of this is the power of the state, which has taken a well intentioned statute and turned it into a weapon of political and cultural destruction.

This has happened in plain sight. Our politics, our media, our educational leaders and so far our courts have proved to be timorous and so far ineffective counterweights to this power. I already know this. It's discouraging to drag myself through it again.

Fernandinande said...

"knowingly recruited potentially violent felons"

Everyone is potentially violent, but does that mean the game players were already felons?

Felons as in the status They are not supposed to ask about any longer because reasons?

Rob McLean said...

There has been a handful of good work (most notably this Emily Yoffe article in Slate).

Yoffe was replaced as "Dear Prudence" soon thereafter (unexpectedly!), by someone more politically reliable: a 28-year-old bisexual who's never had a spouse, kids or a real job. (Then again, it's Slate...Yoffe knew the rules when she signed on.)

Rick said...

Owen said...
Maybe under a new administration they will be able to do better.


Doubtful.

Title IX panel discussion

During the first of two panels put on by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, four college presidents said they would continue their post-2011 process for sexual assault claims even if the “Dear Colleague” guidance was overturned.

The Dear Colleague letter threatened to ban federal funds which would instantly ruin almost every University in the country. This was important because it allowed supporters in each University's administration to game the cost benefit analysis effectively brushing aside any other concerns as unimportant relative to the financial risk. They positioned themselves as not necessarily for these changes (thereby not subject to criticism for the many miscarriages of justice) but merely implementing a federal mandate.

But since the mandate was always clearly illegitimate why didn't any university challenge it? The answer is that these administrators always supported the mandate, their relationship with the radical activists is as allies not opponents. This was always the end goal as they admit now by electing policies they could not have justified through the normal evaluation process.

Remember this when those activist's actions discredit academia and the left tries to protect themselves by claiming the campus activists don't represent the more reasonable liberals. Those activists are orchestrating circumstances which liberals in power can use to achieve their extreme goals.

CWJ said...

David,

I agree, and am similarly demoralized. One of the ironies of living my life has been watching my generation (boomer) reverse course from do your own thing and a deep suspician of governmental power to a strong embrace of the courts and government's power to coerce their prefered collective attutudes and behavior. Positive results, not so much.

damikesc said...

The ACLU has been basically silent on this issue.

FIRE, on the other hand, has been rock solid.

They warrant donations.

Having read the same authors' book on the Duke lacrosse fiasco (well summarized in this new book)

That book is damning as hell of Nifong and Duke University (and Nancy Grace, as well). Reading how much of railroad job the entire fiasco was was infuriating.

damikesc said...

The Dear Colleague letter threatened to ban federal funds which would instantly ruin almost every University in the country. This was important because it allowed supporters in each University's administration to game the cost benefit analysis effectively brushing aside any other concerns as unimportant relative to the financial risk. They positioned themselves as not necessarily for these changes (thereby not subject to criticism for the many miscarriages of justice) but merely implementing a federal mandate.

And we should pull ALL funding, even research grants, from schools that violate basic Constitutional rights of their students. Given that they accept federal money, there are rules they must abide by and I cannot fathom a Court saying a complete removal of ALL monies would be excessive if the issue is a blatant violation of due process.

Also, parents, DO NOT SEND YOUR SONS TO COLLEGE.

If you insist on it, INSIST THAT THEY FUCK PROSTITUTES AND DO NOT EVEN SPEAK TO A CO-ED.

campy said...

If you insist on it, INSIST THAT THEY FUCK PROSTITUTES ...

Bad idea. Some misandrist in the Title IX office will file charges on behalf of the prostitute (from whom they will not take testimony) and expel your son.

damikesc said...

Of course, judges are making it worse. A judge denied a plaintiff's request for text messages from the girl who claimed he raped her (two years after the incident and right before she fucked another dude) at Amherst. He said that it'd be too traumatic to ask somebody not involved in the case to relive the incident. He said Amherst had the information, which they did not (they refused to even look at it after his expulsion hearing because he was unaware of the texts for months)

So, apparently, you need to sue the school AND accuser. While I don't mind, I bet it will hurt the "victim's rights" feelings.

Kirk Parker said...

David @ 9:07 AM,

I would agree with everything you write there, except the "well intentioned statute" part.