Good News, For Now

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Richard Epstein delivers news that will be a relief to many college students around the country. The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education recently withdrew a piece of Obama-era regulatory dark matter: a "Dear Colleagues" letter that had set kangaroo courts in motion at colleges around the country:

Image courtesy of Pixabay.
...The Obama rules had required that sexual misconduct cases be tried under a "preponderance of the evidence" standard instead of the higher standard of "clear and convincing evidence," which are traditionally used in such cases.

The first standard allows for a guilty finding where the evidence is more certain than not; with the second standard, the accuser must show, roughly speaking, a 75 percent certainty. The letter permitted the accuser who lost at the university or college tribunal to bring appeals to overturn the initial determination. It strongly discouraged the use of cross-examination by parties or their attorneys, and refused to allow covered institutions to involve law enforcement officials in these investigations of criminal conduct.

The DOE's recent reversal of policy under Betsy DeVos rests on the conviction that the regulations set forth in the letter violate the procedural due process of the accused students, who face heavy sanctions after a final judgment of guilt, including suspension or expulsion from their universities,...
Epstein goes on to describe one case in which the accused had prevailed in such a hearing, only to learn over a break that his accuser managed to get him barred from campus on such an appeal. This happened on the strength of new (and faulty) evidence and without his having known about the appeal or even getting an opportunity to reply on his own behalf.

I recommend reading the whole thing to see just how tyrannical this regulation was. But keep in mind that Trump may have installed a regulator with the students' best interests in mind -- but he has not moved to start getting rid of the real menace. That menace is the government apparatus that made this all possible. That will still be around for leftists like Obama to play with the next time they win an election -- or for religionists to use for their own purposes should a Mike Pence or a Roy Moore become President.

-- CAV

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