The Trump administration restored due process rights for students accused of sexual misconduct, and the left is collectively outraged.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced new Title IX rules that will treat the accused with the presumption of innocence, according to David Harsanyi of National Review. Democrats and the media have slammed the new rules, saying they will empower abusers, even as they ignore a sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden.
Democrats melt down over rule change
Progressives have long operated on the assumption that affording due process to the accused in campus misconduct cases punishes victims, a position that former President Barack Obama endorsed with a “Dear Colleague” letter in 2011, as Politico reported. Many say the Obam-era rules created a campus culture that disenfranchised the accused and placed the burden on them to prove their innocence, resulting in horror stories of lives ruined over false claims.
The new rules, which go in effect in August, treat cases more like legal proceedings — with more rigorous protections for the accused. Those rights include the right to see evidence, to consult with lawyers, and — horror of horrors — to cross-examine witnesses, or what the civilized world calls fairness.
The rules also expand protections for accusers “by asking schools to investigate allegations of stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence,” according to Harsanyi. They allow schools to choose between the “clear and convincing” or the less-rigorous “preponderance of evidence” standard.
DeVos, who has long been villainized by the left for her efforts to undo Obama’s progressive education agenda, described the new rules as an improvement that would protect both accusers and accused, according to Fox News. As might be expected, mainstream media, Democrats, and progressive apparatchiks responded with the typical Orwell-speak suggesting that affording the accused a scintilla of protection is itself an affront to civil rights.
As Harsyani points out, NBC News described the presumption of innocence and the right to see evidence as “added protections,” and Catherine E. Lhamon, chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, claimed that DeVos was trying to create a culture where it is “permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity.”
Breathtaking hypocrisy persists
The controversy comes at a particularly fraught time for liberals, as progressives struggle to reckon with a sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden that many say has threatened the #MeToo movement. Prominent Democrats, and much of the mainstream media, have ignored a claim from Tara Reade that Biden assaulted her in 1993 when she was a Senate aide — tacitly breaking with the “believe women” rule they have championed since Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle in 2018.
Biden, who played an instrumental role in passing the Violence Against Women Act, has leaned hard into that record to deflect Reade’s claim — and he has promised to undo DeVos’s changes if he wins the presidency, Fox News reports. Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also slammed the Title IX rule changes, even while continuing to shield Biden from scrutiny, as Gregg Re over at Fox notes.
“The Trump Administration’s final rule is callous, cruel and dangerous, threatening to silence survivors and endanger vulnerable students in the middle of a public health crisis,” Pelosi said Wednesday.
You’d think, given this unhinged rhetoric, that maybe Pelosi and her fellow Dems would take a closer look at Biden’s case, but no dice. If you think about what’s at the bottom of all this, it’s pretty dark: the Democrats do not operate by the rule of law. They only care about power. According to them, it’s fair to ruin the life of a conservative judge, or a random college student, over a mere allegation — but prominent Democrats are let off the hook.
These people are dangerous, and they need to be kept as far away from power as possible.