Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apology to Brett Sokolow

Brett Sokolow is doing more to advance the rights of young men on campus than anyone I know, just as he's done more to advance the rights of sexual assault victims on campus over the past 15 years. In our predecessor blog, we misjudged Mr. Sokolow, based on the limited information available to us, as someone hostile to the due process rights of persons accused of sexual assault. In fact, in writing after writing, we see that Mr. Sokolow is concerned about fairness.

I don't agree with all of his positions. In my opinion, his views on sexual coercion are on shaky legal ground, but he is someone whose good faith needs to be acknowledged and credited. I will be writing about the standard of review on campus in the next few days -- we have criticized him in the past on this. The issue is more complicated than most want to acknowledge.

Mr. Sokolow, you have our apology, our best wishes for your continued success, and our hope that you keep up the fight for fairness for all students. I am linking NCHERM to this blog.

Here is the latest news on Sokolow:
Since April, he says, at least 55 young men have asked him to represent them in disputes with their colleges or universities. So far, Mr. Sokolow has taken on 11 of those cases.

He believes that the rising number of complaints from men stems in part from increasing pressure on colleges to hold students responsible for sexual misconduct, and the mistaken belief among administrators that this means they should find more young men responsible. "All of this pressure from the White House and OCR has been communicated, and these university panels believe they are supposed to vote a certain way now," says Mr. Sokolow. "Campuses are saying, We have to comply with Title IX, so we have to side with the victim."