At the beginning of 2016, commentators, including myself, began to seriously question GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s commitment to due process rights for college students accused of wrongdoing — specifically of sexual assault. Rubio finally addressed those concerns in a news release on his campaign website.
The questions technically began on Dec. 30, 2015, when K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor (co-authors of a book about the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax) called Rubio and several other senators out for their support of a dangerous campus sexual assault bill. The bill would codify into law all of the guilty-until-proven-innocent tactics of the Education Department, while providing no substantive due process rights for accused students to defend themselves.
Activists will point out that the bill does include some due process rights — for example, it would require schools to inform students of the accusation against them. It’s kind of amazing that colleges even need to be told to do this, but that tells you everything you need to know about the current campus climate when it comes to due process and accusations. I also don’t think this is sufficient protection when everything else in the bill works against accused students.