Can you blame UC Santa Barbara for trying its darndest to comply with the demands of the “Dear Colleague” letters, their “questions and answers,” the cries of anguish emanating from the Obama Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, not to mention the unlawful threat of withholding federal funds should they not? Well, yes, you can.
Due process – two preeminent words that are the lifeblood of our Constitution. Not a precise term, but most everyone knows when it is present and when it is not. It is often most conspicuous by its absence. Its primary characteristic is fairness. It is self-evident that a trial, an adjudication, or a hearing that may adversely affect a person’s life must be conducted with fairness to all parties.
Here, a university held a hearing to determine whether a student violated its student code of conduct. Noticeably absent was even a semblance of due process. When the accused does not receive a fair hearing, neither does the accuser.
The plaintiff, a male student, characterized as “John Doe,” was suspended for eight semesters for sexual misconduct.
John was denied access to critical evidence; denied the opportunity to adequately cross-examine witnesses; and denied the opportunity to present evidence in his defense. UCSB denied John a fair hearing. We reverse.
In other words, he was railroaded in a process where he had no chance to defend himself from the accusations. Shockingly, he lost and was punished. And, according to the chronicler of such things, K.C. Johnson, this is the 118th adverse court decision on Catherine Lhamon’s extremely ugly effort to re-engineer Title iX into an inquisition to vindicate the feelings of co-eds at the expense of male students.
One hundred and eighteen times, thus far, the courts have said “No.” I thought you should know.