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Campus Due Process Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment

Kentucky Enacts Historic Due Process Law – Joins with AZ, FL, and MD to Assure Fundamental Fairness on Campus

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Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


Kentucky Enacts Historic Due Process Law – Joins with AZ, FL, and MD to Assure Fundamental Fairness on Campus

WASHINGTON / April 25, 2022 – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear recently signed the Kentucky Campus Due Process Protection Act into law. HB 290 enshrines a broad range of due process protections for students attending public universities in the state (1).

Throughout its development, the Campus Due Process Protection Act enjoyed strong bipartisan support:

  • The bill was championed by the Kentucky Student Rights Coalition, which was composed of 64 student organizations including Kentucky College Democrats, Kentucky Federation for College Republicans, and many other groups (2).
  • The bill was supported by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (3).
  • In the House, 79% of all voting Representatives voted in favor of the bill. In the Senate, 71% of all voting Senators supported the bill (4).

The new law guarantees a broad range of due process protections, including timely notice of allegations, cross-examination, and impartial adjudications.

The law is seen as historic because for the first time, it includes a cause of action allowing students to sue. If a university is found to have violated the bill’s provisions, the student will be entitled to damages, including attorneys’ fees and court costs. Recently, a South Carolina jury awarded $5.3 million to a former Clemson University student who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct (5).

The Kentucky law also establishes rights for sexual assault complainants by requiring the university to maintain a file with investigation documents that have been submitted by both parties and make that file available to all parties involved.

Three other states have enacted broadly worded due process laws for accused college students: Arizona, Florida, and Maryland. In addition, four states have enacted due process laws with a more limited scope: Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and North Dakota (6).

SAVE commends Kentucky lawmakers for passing this long-needed legislation, and urges lawmakers in other states to enact similar laws.