The Administration’s Last Gasp Effort To Eliminate Due Process

Caps and gowns are back in storage, now that graduation season is nigh. And by the time the next graduation season rolls around, there will be a new regime in power. Ah, the lame duck term of a presidential administration offers so little, and yet so much. Much as its gestures may be empty, since no one cares what the outgoing people have to say, it’s also freeing, as it allows them to say whatever they please without fear of consequences.

So the Obama administration makes its announcement:

Obama, Biden Will No Longer Visit Universities That Don’t Address Sexual Assault

Did anyone invite them? If they came, would anyone care? If they don’t, will anyone notice? What difference does it make, because they have a cause.

Less than a month after Vice President Joe Biden penned an emotional letter to the woman sexually assaulted by Brock Turner, the White House has announced sweeping new rules for future visits to colleges campuses.

Under the policy, President Barack Obama, Biden, their wives and members of the Cabinet will no longer visit higher education institutions where officials are deemed to be doing a poor job tackling the troubling frequency of reported sexual assaults, according to The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin.

Not to get all fact-laden, but Joe, the Brock Turner case happened in court, not in a campus adjudication. And while many think the sentence was light, we understood it in the context of law. We didn’t write teary-eyed virtue signals to audition for a Real Housewives of D.C. reality show.

And what exactly do you mean by the “troubling frequency of reported sexual assaults”?

Eilperin notes the Department of Education currently has 253 ongoing investigations into the handling of sexual assault, nearly fives times the amount underway just two years ago.

Could that possibly have anything to do with the redefining of sexual assaults from something that actually happened to something that someone imagined a year later after a deep discussion with a gender studies prof and an unpleasant breakup?

A group of 31 U.S. senators recently warned colleges and universities may be underreporting sexual assaults and domestic violence on campus. Just 9 percent of 11,000 schools required to report the number of assaults on campus said they had any occurrence of such crimes.

Led by Elizabeth Warren, these senators couldn’t understand how it’s possible that so few schools reported sexual assaults when Tyler Kingkade says otherwise.

The reports that there were no incidents of sexual assault on 9-in-10 campuses “directly conflict” with a swath of peer-reviewed research that show around 1-in-5 female students will experience sexual assault by the time they graduate college.

So what if “peer-reviewed” doesn’t mean what Kingkade and Warren think it does. So what if the study has been so widely and thoroughly debunked at every conceivable level. So what if United States senators think sexual assault is worse on American college campuses than in Mogadishu? Since when do these senators need facts when there are feelings to be vindicated?

The senators wrote that “while the Administration has taken strong steps to implement these regulations, we are frankly concerned that schools are not doing enough. Failure to fully adhere to these reforms puts women, and all students, nationwide at risk — and the Departments of Education and Justice have a critical role to play in ensuring the protections laid out in VAWA are fully put into practice.”

And in his waning hours, President Obama is ready to be the white knight of “survivors.”

The move is the latest in a series of dramatic steps taken by the White House to make it easier for victims to report the crime and for schools to punish offenders.

Punish? Uh oh. You didn’t just admit that this is about punishing offenders, did you? Because that’s the one thing that this absolutely cannot be about. The government only gets to punish a person after they’ve been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The government only gets to punish a person after they’ve been afforded the full panoply of due process rights. The government only gets to punish after a court of law in a criminal prosecution determines they deserve to be punished.

One might suspect an ersatz constitutional lawprof would know such things. Or maybe even a former prosecutor. And perhaps even a poseur who writes law-ish crap for the Huff Post. Or the Wash Post, for that matter.

So, the cat’s out of the bag, as if it was ever really in the bag. Pandering to the sad neo-feminist tears of sexual hegemony, creating a subconstitutional system designed to assure that any complaint, no matter how baseless or factually unwarranted, will result in punishment has been the administration’s goal.

There isn’t much that the lame duck administration can do at this point to further its end game, beyond hoping that it successor shares the desire to punish without benefit of due process. So, the President and Vice President are playing their last card: they won’t come to dinner at any college that doesn’t report enough rapes to prove that Somalia has nothing on us.

Then again, it’s not like anyone invited them to dinner.  But if they did, the one thing they wouldn’t be served is a heaping helping of due process as an appetizer.  The Obama administration finds due process on campus distasteful, and won’t have any of it.

H/T @Bmaz

9 thoughts on “The Administration’s Last Gasp Effort To Eliminate Due Process

  1. Jeff Gamso

    No, no, no. It’s not that the administration wants “to assure that any complaint, no matter how baseless or factually unwarranted, will result in punishment.”

    It’s that the administration understands what we poor folk who represent the accused (and convicted) cannot grasp. Every complaint, every accusation, is true. And therefore anyone accused should be punished. Fair process just lets bad guys off the hook. No point in that.

    It’s so simple once you understand.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    “…is the latest in a series of dramatic steps…”

    I just witnessed a most constipated Pomeranian* have a bowel movement on Broadway. *That* was dramatic. The suspense was killing me. Would there be a rectal blowout? If yes, would UES trophy wife hurl? If yes, could they ever look adoringly into each other’s eyes? I almost felt like I needed a safe space.

    * Plugged up Pomeranians, to my surprise, comes up very high in the Google’s search results.

  3. MonitorsMost

    Scott Greenfield for Secretary of Education/White House Travel Office Director.

  4. OEH

    One sentence strikes me: “Eilperin notes the Department of Education currently has 253 ongoing investigations into the handling of sexual assault.”

    I was first introduced to this tactic when I was in college. A certain guy, a staunch supporter of Israel and well-known campus troll, attended a pro-Palestinian student meeting where he allegedly heard anti-Semitic comments, which he reported to the school administration. He then requested an investigation by the DOE into the school’s failure to investigate.

    I was blown away. This guy was a genius. He didn’t even have to prove that his allegations were true or even likely true (I’m sure he was too tough to care what they said to him at that meeting anyway). All he had to do was claim that he made a plausible allegation and that the school failed to investigate. And that was how he would show his adversaries in the administration (who had allowed the Palestine meeting to take place) that *he* could put them through a laborious investigation and public chastisement as punishment.

    Well, I was impressed then, but now everyone’s doing it.

  5. Chris Halkides

    KC Johnson has been documenting many instances of post-2011 Dear Colleague letter assault on due process at Minding the Campus and Academic Wonderland.

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