Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Virginia's elected officials demand due process in college sex witch hunts--but only for U-Va., not accused students

It turns out our elected officials have had enough of the witch hunts over alleged sex offenses at colleges and universities and that they do care about "due process" after all--but only when a vaunted institution of higher learning in their state is unfairly maligned by the Department of Education. In contrast, those elected officials seem to be just fine when the vaunted institutions of higher learning are the ones carrying out the witch hunts against college men.

Following a federal investigation into purported sexual violence at the University of Virginia, Virginia's Democratic governor and senators strongly objected to the Department of Education's findings. The governor said he feared that U-Va. was being denied “very basic requirements of due process.” He wrote: "Due process requires timely notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard by an impartial tribunal." He also expressed concern about what he viewed as an “adversarial” posture from the investigative agency. Virginia's two senators expressed support for the governor's position. The university's president chimed in: “I am profoundly disappointed that the letter is replete with factual errors.” In response, the Department of Education re-did its report to soften it. Read the letters here and the Washington Post's story here.

Everything that Governor Terence McAuliffe and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan complain about with the respect to the way U-Va. was treated are things that presumptively innocent young men across America are forced to endure every single day of the week when they are accused of sex offenses on campus--and hardly any lawmakers, in Virginia or anywhere else, give a damn about them. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz. and a few others are the exceptions, and they are forced to put up with the wrath of the anti-due process mob in the sexual grievance lobby.

When U-Va.'s president banned fraternities on campus, did that comport with those fundamental notions of fairness you're talking about, Governor? Why the hell does U-Va. deserve fair processes while college men don't?

Young men of Virginia need to sit up and demand that their elected officials care as much them as those elected officials care about the University of Virginia.