We’ve covered far too many stories of the “campus rape culture” here and the frequent miscarriages of justice ( on both sides) which result when colleges attempt to replace the judicial system when dealing with potential felonies taking place on their property. It’s generally depressing news, even in the rare cases a court is dragged in to correct the outcome. Now, however, Robby Soave at Reason Magazine brings us news that a lawsuit is underway which might put an end to these problems. One former student who was banned from campus at the University of Virginia amid allegations of sexual abuse without ever seeing a judge or jury is going to court, not against the University which hijacked the legal system, but against the US Department of Education.
A University of Virginia law student who was accused of sexual misconduct and banned from campus—years after the alleged incident—is suing the U.S. Education Department for giving UVA no choice but to rule against him.
His lawsuit is a direct challenge to the legality of the campus kangaroo courts the federal government claims are required under Title IX. Lawyers representing the student, John Doe, argue persuasively that he would have been found innocent of wrongdoing if not for the Obama administration’s insistence that universities adjudicate sexual assault under the preponderance of evidence standard.
This makes Doe’s lawsuit the strongest legal assault on Title IX to date. If successful, it could undo some of the damage wrought by OCR’s crusade to remove elements of due process from campus rape trials.
The reason this is an important case is described in full by Soave but it boils down to the fact that this is the first significant instance where the plaintiff (listed as John Doe in this case) is not going after the university for violating his rights, but after the Department of Education for creating the problem in the first place. Under a new interpretation of Title IX during the Obama administration applying to the section forbidding gender discrimination, colleges are instructed to use the lowest standard of proof – preponderance of evidence – when determining if a student is guilty of some form of sexual assault. Doe’s case was a sketchy one at best, as described in the Reason article, and the former state supreme court justice who heard the case for the university concluded that she was forced to admit there might have been a 51% chance that Doe was guilty. Doe was also forbidden any normal semblance of defense or the ability to cross examine during the proceedings. She stated that had the case been subject to the normal standard of evidence for a criminal case she would likely not have been able to find him guilty.
In that University of Virginia travesty, due process was tossed out the window as it is in most of these kangaroo court scenarios. Also, neither the concept of justice nor the safety of the community was served. First, let’s say Doe was innocent. In that case, he was railroaded by this non-legal body and his career was ruined. But what if he was actually guilty? His “punishment” was to be banned from campus and deal with a two year delay in getting his law degree. If the guy is an actual rapist, they turned him loose on society to prey on other young women. This was a lose – lose situation for everyone.
If Doe prevails with his lawsuit, the courts may finally rewrite portions of Title IX and put a halt to these inept, unconstitutional tribunals on America’s college campuses which currently flourish in the name of political correctness. Best of luck to him.