The ruling, per se, wasn’t at all unique. As K.C. Johnson has kept count, this is the 97th adverse decision against a college for its reliance on the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter,” compelling schools upon pain of loss of federal funding to extend Title IX into realms neither the law nor Supreme Court directed.
What makes the decision of Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., of the District of Rhode Island, stand out was that it didn’t require months of deliberation or judicial gymnastics. He announced it from the bench.
TEXT ORDER For reasons state in today’s hearing, 26 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim is granted in part and denied in part as follows: The motion as to Count 3 is granted as to promissory estoppel, as to Count 4 is denied as to Title IX; as to Count 5 is granted as to intentional infliction of emotional distress; as to Count 6 is denied as to negligent inflection of emotion distress, and as to Count 7 is granted as to injunctive relief as a separate cause of action. – So Ordered by District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. on 5/14/2018. (McGuire, Vickie) (Entered: 05/14/2018)
But as Legal Insurrection notes, the blurb doesn’t do it justice. Fortunately, K.C. was in the courtroom, live-twitting the proceedings.
Judge: based on info in complaint, “I can’t for the life of me find any other explanation” other than gender bias for guilty finding. Wow.
Judge: tells lawyers not to use the term “hysteria” bc it’s sexist. He’s an Obama nominee
Just in: In ruling from the bench, judge denies Johnson & Wales motion to dismiss on TIX claim. Brutal hearing for university
Key line in oral ruling from judge (McConnell, Obama nominee): “On the pleadings, this court can find no reason at all why the result was Mr. Doe’s expulsion. The only inference [is] . . . gender played a role.
There are two relatively distinct issues that arise from these campus adjudications. One is that they “convict” the innocent because, well, no one is innocent once an accusation is made. The second is that they do so using procedures that are so absurdly lacking in due process that it’s impossible to get a fair hearing. So what happened here?
A male student expelled from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, has commenced suit in federal court in Massachusetts, where he lives, claiming he was unlawfully held responsible and expelled after an unfair, prejudged internal judicial process that violated not only ordinary norms of fairness, but also the university’s own guidelines.
The facts alleged and issued involved are all too familiar for these type of cases, according to the detailed factual allegations:
- The male and female students had at least six sexual encounters, only two of which were at issue.
- The female did not complain for one year.
- The complaint was instigated by the female’s boyfriend, but the boyfriend could not be cross-examined because he served as the female student’s hearing advisor.
- The accused male student was not given a copy of the complaint, he only had it read to him not long before the hearing.
- The investigator who gathered the facts expressed support for the female student from the start.
- The entire process from complaint to adjudication took only five weeks.
- There was a short time to appeal, during which time the male student retained counsel, but the university would not provide the attorney with a copy of the complaint.
- There was no record of the adjudication, making internal appeal and court challenge difficult
The male student was expelled, which the unduly passionate explain is hardly the same as going to prison, as if the years of study that went into their college admissions, their efforts in college, the tuition paid to the college that wouldn’t be refunded, and most significantly, their hopes and aspirations for their future, sacrificed on the alter of Believe The Victim and accusations of sexual offense newly defined to mean whatever the accuser feels, whenever she feels it, was no big thing.
In the past, judges have tried mightily to deny the obvious, wrapping their rationalizations in the sweet words of feigned neutrality that Title IX protects all genders (even though gender isn’t the word Congress used in the statute), and that it just happens to only be used to disadvantage males isn’t indicative of bias, but apparent kismet. Judge McConnell didn’t play that game.
It doesn’t appear that Judge McConnell is an insensitive old coot. Indeed, his admonition to counsel not to use the word “hysteria” because it’s sexist shows that he possesses sufficient sensitivity to eliminate a commonly-used word from the lexicon based upon its etymological root that has now become fashionably reconnected to the uterus despite its long dissociation.
And yet, there was no inference to be drawn from what happened to the male student at Johnson and Wales University but that he was male and, as such, was doomed to lose.
To be clear, this isn’t a problem for the women who promote their cause, now under Title IX but increasingly in other areas from employment to criminal law. They may concede that in order to vindicate their beliefs, innocent men will be sacrificed. And they’re good with it. Judge McConnell, however, is not.