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Monday, April 4, 2016

DUE PROCESS DENIED: Strongest Ruling Yet Against Campus Kangaroo Courts

A federal judge has given the green light to a lawsuit challenging the legality of Brandeis University’s sexual assault proceedings in a sharply worded opinion arguing that the school has tilted the process so far in favor of accusers that it unlawfully abridges the rights of the accused. KC Johnson, an expert on campus due process who made the ruling available online, highlights the following passage:
Like Harvard, Brandeis appears to have substantially impaired, if not eliminated, an accused student’s right to a fair and impartial process. And it is not enough simply to say that such changes are appropriate because victims of sexual assault have not always achieved justice in the past. Whether someone is a “victim” is a conclusion to be reached at the end of a fair process, not an assumption to be made at the beginning. Each case must be decided on its own merits, according to its own facts. If a college student is to be marked for life as a sexual predator, it is reasonable to require that he be provided a fair opportunity to defend himself and an impartial arbiter to make that decision.
The case in question—in which a student was penalized for, among other things, kissing his boyfriend without express approval—sounds particularly egregious...

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