Department of Justice Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Press Release

DOJ’s Kristen Clarke Stabbed Her Husband, Then Engaged in a Five-Year Cover-Up


Rebecca Hain: 513-479-3335


DOJ’s Kristen Clarke Stabbed Her Husband, Then Engaged in a Five-Year Cover-Up

WASHINGTON / May 2, 2024 – The Centers for Disease Control reports that more men than women are victims of domestic violence. Each year, 6.5 million men, compared to 5.7 million women, fall prey to intimate partner aggression (1).

Consistent with these findings, a new report reveals a high-level female official at the U.S. Department of Justice attacked her husband, evaded prosecution, and sought to remove the incident from the public record.

A recent Daily Signal exposé reveals the following (2):

  1. On July 4, 2006, Kristen Clarke attacked her husband, Reginald Avery, slicing his finger to the bone. Maryland police arrested Clarke that night. A criminal case against Clarke was initiated in the District Court of Maryland.
  2. On Oct. 17, 2006, a Maryland state attorney entered a request of “nolle prosequi,” effectively dismissing the charge without a trial.
  3. On January 10, 2008, Clarke obtained an “Order for Expungement of Police and Court Records” for the arrest, thereby obscuring the incident from the public record.
  4. On January 7, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden nominated Clarke to serve as the head of the Department of Justice’s high-profile Civil Rights Division.
  5. During her April 21 confirmation hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton asked nominee Clarke, “Since becoming a legal adult, have you ever been arrested for or accused of committing a violent crime against any person?” Clarke dishonestly answered, “No.”

The weakening and dissolution of the nuclear family has long been a central objective of Marxist activists (3). Accordingly, feminists have created numerous domestic violence myths that are designed to divert attention from the reality of female-initiated violence (4).

For example, Gloria Steinem famously claimed that “Patriarchy requires violence, or the subliminal threat of violence, in order to maintain itself” (5). Such falsehoods have served to frighten women and vilify men, eventually undermining the institution of marriage.

Basic notions of fairness and justice have been compromised, as well. Even though a majority of abuse perpetrators are female, the Department of Justice reports that inexplicably, 81% of intimate partner violence arrestees are male (6).

Indeed, female-perpetrated violence is a hidden epidemic in our society (7). Last week, the media reported on a Kansas mother who cut off the head of her 6-year-old son (8). One week before that, an Arizona woman pled guilty to poisoning her husband by pouring bleach into his coffee (9).

SAVE urges lawmakers to undertake a thorough re-evaluation of the domestic violence laws within their jurisdiction, to assure these policies are based on principles of science and justice, not Marxist ideology. And chivalrous judges and law enforcement personnel need to stop giving female abusers a free pass.


  1. Tables 9 and 11.
  6. , Table 5.9.
Department of Justice Investigations Law & Justice Law Enforcement Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Start By Believing Trauma Informed

EVAWI Announces End of DOJ Funding for ‘Start By Believing’

Registration Fee Now Required for Webinars:
All 2021 Virtual Conference Sessions Available
The pandemic brought challenges, and some surprising gifts, for many of us. Cancelling our 2020 conference was definitely one of the challenges. Because we had to cancel just a few weeks before the conference was scheduled to begin, we lost money already spent on the event, as well as the registration fees. These financial losses represent a substantial percentage of the annual income EVAWI needs to operate. We know that many of you are already aware of that.
What you may not know is that our last federal technical assistance (TA) grant ended in May 2021. These TA grants have been supporting the training and technical assistance programs many of you depend on. Unfortunately, the most recent round of 2021 solicitations did not include similar funding opportunities that we could apply for. [emphasis added]
Between these two developments, EVAWI is unable to continue providing all our online services free of charge, as we have done for so long. We hope this situation will change, as we emerge from the pandemic and new grant opportunities arise.
For the time being, however, we will be charging registration fees for all our live and archived webinars. That may be bad news for some of you. But the good news is that our 2021 virtual conference was extremely successful, with over 2,000 people registered to attend. Because all the sessions from this virtual conference were recorded, we can now – for the first time ever – allow people who couldn’t register for the entire conference to pay for one or more of the 68 recorded sessions. You can find the complete agenda here. Together, this means we now have a total of 120 webinars available in our archive.
Looking ahead, we are very excited about returning to an in-person conference in San Francisco in 2022, but of course also nervous as we continue to navigate new terrain and constant changes. At this time, we are doing everything we can to continue offering our OnLine Training Institute and Training Bulletins free of charge, and we will reevaluate our sustainability in early 2022 to determine if any additional changes need to be made.
We appreciate your support, as we move forward.


Believe the Victim Campus Department of Justice Investigations Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Start By Believing Title IX Trauma Informed Victim-Centered Investigations

PR: Railroading the Innocent: 5,200+ Petition Signers Demand an End to ‘Victim-Centered’ Investigations


Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


Railroading the Innocent: 5,200+ Petition Signers Demand an End to ‘Victim-Centered’ Investigations

WASHINGTON / June 16, 2021 – An online petition is demanding an end to the use of so-called “victim-centered” investigative methods. “Victim-centered” approaches serve to remove the presumption of innocence and tilt the investigation in favor of the complainant (1). Such investigative philosophies are becoming widespread both in the criminal legal system and on college campuses.

The petition highlights the account of Matt Rolph of New York, who was accused of sexual assault by his former long-term girlfriend. Despite the fact that a jury found him innocent of all charges, Hobart College launched a “victim-centered” investigation that ignored inconsistencies among the witness statements. Rolph sued the college, with Judge Elizabeth Wolford eventually ruling in his favor (2).

Inexplicably, Congress has been supportive of such “victim-centered” methods.

Recently the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1620, which endorses “victim-centered” investigations. The bill defines “victim-centered” as asking questions of a complainant “in a manner that is focused on the experience of the reported victim.” (3) This description is an admission of the biased nature of such investigations, because it says nothing about focusing on the experiences of the defendant, or seeking to verify the truth (or falsity) of the allegation.

“Start By Believing” is another “victim-centered” philosophy that has enjoyed generous government support. Over the years, the “Start By Believing” sponsor has received $9.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and other sources (4).

“Trauma-informed” is yet another victim-centered ideology that has been derided as “junk science.” (5)  Healthcare providers now are being instructed in circular “trauma-informed” thinking. According to a New York State nurse who attended one such training, “Current trauma-informed training teaches that a patient who remembers every detail of an incident, or a patient who remembers little to nothing of an incident, both indicate a trauma has occurred.” (6)

Two years ago the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) successfully organized to defeat ABA Resolution 114. The resolution sought to establish an “affirmative consent” standard on the basis of flawed trauma-informed science (7).

The National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks wrongful convictions of the innocent, found that investigative misconduct contributes to 35% of all wrongful convictions. The investigative misconduct includes concealment of evidence, fabrication of evidence, witness tampering, misconduct in interrogations, and making false statements at trial (8).

The names of the petition signers, now numbering 5,278 persons, are available for inspection (9). The online petition continues to accept additional signers:


Campus Department of Education Department of Justice Discrimination Title IX

BOLD program under investigation for Title IX complaint

By  — Senior Writer, The Ithacan
Published: February 10, 2021

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation against Ithaca College’s BOLD Women’s Leadership Network after receiving a complaint of a Title IX violation by a University of Michigan professor.

Mark Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, filed a complaint against the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network in August on the basis of sex discrimination. The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is a leadership development program that awards a two-year scholarship to students who identify as women, particularly those who have been underrepresented in higher education.

Samantha Elebiary, BOLD Program Director at the college, said that she cannot comment on the status of an ongoing investigation but that the college will cooperate with the Office for Civil Rights.

Perry said the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network violates Title IX policy, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance,” according to the U.S. Department of Education website.  Because the college allows students to apply federal money to their tuition through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the college is required to comply with Title IX policy.

The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is funded by the Pussycat Foundation, which sets the application criteria for participating colleges. The program requires that applicants identify as women, but Elebiary said nonbinary identifying students are not discouraged from applying. Elebiary said students are not required to disclose their gender identity on the application.

President Shirley M. Collado brought the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network to the college in 2017, shortly after she became president of the college. Collado founded the program when she worked at Rutgers University–Newark. Elebiary started working at the college as a residence director in 2017 and began working with BOLD in 2018.

Collado has not responded to requests for comment.

At the All-College Gathering on Feb. 9, Collado said the program has received over $4 million in funding since she brought the program to the college.

“The main goal is to provide that additional professional leadership development to students who identify as women or female and are in their junior and senior year,” Elebiary said.

Perry said he has filed 283 Title IX complaints. A majority of these complaints are against colleges with programs or spaces exclusive to women. He said he has filed complaints against BOLD Women’s Leadership Network programs at Middlebury College, The College of Saint Rose, University of Connecticut and Colby-Sawyer College. The only college that hosts a BOLD Women’s Leadership Network program that he has not filed a complaint against is Rutgers University-Newark.

His complaint against The College of Saint Rose was also opened for investigation by the Office for Civil Rights. The other complaints are still pending investigation.

Perry said he believes the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is in violation of Title IX because there is not a similar program for men, and men are ineligible for the current program.

“It’s not just illegal, but it seems unethical to have federal civil rights legislation that’s only enforced selectively and with a double standard,” Perry said.

At this time, Elebiary said the college does not have any plans to alter the structure of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network.

The college hosts leadership scholarships that are open to all genders like the Leadership Scholar Program Award, the Martin Luther King Scholar Program and the Park Scholar Program. The college also offers leadership opportunities to all students through the Student Leadership Institute organized by the Office of Student Engagement. Student-athletes can also participate in the Ithaca College Sports Leadership Academy, a program that coaches its members on developing individual and team leadership skills.

Perry said he believes women do not need special programming for leadership development because they attend college at a higher rate than men. Women earned more than 57% of undergraduate degrees and 59% of master’s degrees in 2018, according to the Center for American Progress.

While women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population, they are still largely underrepresented in leadership, according to the Center for American Progress.

Department of Education Department of Justice Due Process Law & Justice Legal Office for Civil Rights Sexual Assault Title IX

The Biden Plan For Title IX Must Protect Due Process

By: MICHAEL POLIAKOFF | January 25, 2021

The 18th-century British jurist William Blackstone pronounced, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.” There are few principles of law we hold more sacred than “innocent until proven guilty.” For most of the last decade, however, this doctrine has had negligible impact in matters of campus sexual assault.

There are policies of the previous administration that President Joe Biden is already in the process of overturning or altering. It would be well, however, for him to reconsider his campaign promise to “return to and then build on” the Obama administration’s Title IX policies, which led to more than 500 investigations of accused students and shattered an untold number of lives. Having himself been the object of unproven allegations of sexual assault, he must look into his own heart before reinstituting campus procedures that make a mockery of justice.

The victim of sexual assault is likely to bear the emotional and psychological scars for years to come. It is a moral imperative for an institution of learning to protect students from the trauma that ensues. But the mirror image of that horror happens when an innocent person is unjustly found guilty of sexual assault and punished – typically by expulsion or long-term suspension – by his college. The reputational scars and career damage may last a lifetime. Due process provides a greater likelihood that punishment will fall on the guilty and not those wrongfully accused.

There are many instances in which the courts have found wrongful prosecution. Sometimes the case hinged on spectacular mendacity, like the invented account of a brutal gang rape in a University of Virginia fraternity house in 2014 that provided Rolling Stone with a fraudulent cover story. Or the dishonest prosecution launched by an opportunistic district attorney—later disbarred—of Duke lacrosse players that showed how quickly a prestigious university, from the president on down, called for punishment when no crime was committed.

Last spring, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signed a Final Rule that provided key definitions and regulations for the enforcement of Title IX when students accuse other students of campus sexual assault. In addition to the rule’s protection of alleged victims, including reporting procedures and survivor support, it notably provides to the accused the rights to present, cross-examine, and challenge evidence in campus hearings.

You do not have to be a constitutional scholar to recognize that Secretary DeVos was right to redress a longstanding ethical and procedural abuse. The Biden administration must not reverse her important work and bring back the guilt-presuming process that the Obama administration demanded in its April 4, 2011, “Dear Colleague Letter” and in subsequent, egregious misinterpretations of Title IX.

These extra-legal Department of Education decrees, which never went through a formal regulatory review process, pressured universities to stack proceedings against accused students. They even threatened to take away institutions’ federal funding if they allowed cross-examination of accusers in campus hearings. Thus, did the Obama administration deprive accused students of what the Supreme Court has repeatedly called “beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

“Innocent until proven guilty” does not fare well against dramatic claims of sexual violence. At the extreme end, recall then-congressman Jared Polis, now governor, who inverted Blackstone’s wisdom by stating in a House higher education subcommittee meeting on sexual assault: “If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard, maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people. We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about them being transfer to another university, for crying out loud.”

For crying out loud, indeed. What college or university is going to admit a person, innocent or not, who has been expelled on a charge of sexual assault? What company, scholarship foundation, or professional school is going to take that person whose academic record will forever show expulsion or even suspension for sexual assault?

President Biden should consider documented cases like that of the Amherst student who was expelled based on a woman’s claim that he had forced her into sexual contact more than 20 months before—even though her own text messages proved that in fact she had been the active party when he was blackout drunk in her room.

Had the accusations hurled against President Biden on the campaign trail been leveled years ago against College Joe and adjudicated under a campus regime like the one later decreed by the Obama-Biden administration, he would probably have had no meaningful chance to defend himself or clear his name. His career and American history would have been entirely different.

Michael Poliakoff is president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. He previously served as vice president for academic affairs and research at the University of Colorado and in senior roles at the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He has taught at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Hillsdale College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Wellesley College. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Yale University, a Class I Honours B.A. at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. in classical studies from the University of Michigan.

The Biden Plan For Title IX Must Protect Due Process (

Department of Education Department of Justice Law & Justice Legal Title IX

Biden faces Title IX battle complicated by politics and his own history

A Long and Complicated Road Ahead
Improving how colleges respond to sexual assault on campus is one of President Biden’s top priorities. But it’s likely to be an uphill battle

By Greta Anderson, January 22, 2021

Joe Biden entered the White House this week with high and wide-ranging expectations from higher education leaders, advocates for survivors of sexual violence and students for how his new administration will require colleges to handle and reduce sexual assault on college campuses.

In addition to addressing the public health and economic consequences of the pandemic, supporting the ongoing movement for social justice and equity for Black Americans, and trying to unite a politically polarized population, President Biden has also promised to strengthen Title IX, the law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded institutions, which mandates how colleges should respond to student reports of sexual misconduct.

Through his time as a senator and vice president, violence against women and the prevalence of sexual assault has remained a “signature issue” and something the president “cares deeply about,” said Shep Melnick, a professor of political science at Boston College and author The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education (Brookings, 2018).

Melnick noted that Biden was a “major factor” in the Obama administration’s emphasis on reducing campus sexual assault. As vice president during that eight-year period, Biden led the administration’s It’s On Us campaign and visited colleges to promote awareness of the problem and advocate for prevention strategies, such as bystander intervention, or encouraging and training students, particularly young men, to intervene when they see a classmate in a dangerous situation. He wrote the 1990 Violence Against Women Act, which aimed to protect women from gender-based violence.

Aya Gruber, a law professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who writes about feminism and the criminal justice system, recalled when Biden said, “If a man raised his hand to a woman, you had the job to kick the living crap out of him,” during a White House event promoting men’s involvement in the fight against campus sexual assault.

Protecting women and strongly punishing those who commit sexual violence is “part of Biden’s brand,” Gruber said. His past rhetoric and policy positions on campus sexual assault offer some idea of how Biden’s Department of Education will address the issue. He has so far vowed to “immediately” put an end to the Title IX regulations issued by former secretary of education Betsy DeVos, which dramatically shifted how colleges respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

The DeVos regulations were incessantly criticized and challenged in court by advocates for survivors of sexual assault, who took issue with mandates for colleges to require students who are opposing parties in sexual misconduct cases to be cross-examined by a third party “advocate” at campus hearings for sexual assault investigations. The regulations also exclude sexual misconduct that occurs off campus from oversight under Title IX and apply a more limited definition of sexual harassment.

Several women’s groups and organizations that support survivors’ rights, such as the advocacy group Know Your IX, want the DeVos regulations gone. They say students who are sexually assaulted or harassed were better off under the 2011 Title IX guidance issued by the Obama administration, when institutions were advised to investigate and adjudicate all reports of sexual misconduct, “regardless of where the conduct occurred.” The guidance, commonly referred to as the 2011 Dear Colleague letter, said that a single incident of sexual harassment could prompt a Title IX investigation and that institutions must use a preponderance of the evidence standard when determining a student or staff member’s guilt.

DeVos rescinded the 2011 guidance during her first months as education secretary in 2017. Biden has pledged to reinstate it. His plan to address violence against women published online says his administration will “restore” the 2011 guidance that “outlined for schools how to fairly conduct Title IX proceedings.”

Biden’s campaign website, which details his agenda for women’s issues, says the Education Department under DeVos has “rolled back the clock and given colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their civil rights under Title IX, guaranteeing that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people.”

His administration will “stand on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld,” the comments on the website say.

Civil liberties groups and advocates for the rights of students accused of sexual misconduct are dismayed by Biden’s stated intention to reinstate the 2011 guidance. They argue that the guidance led to colleges violating free speech and due process rights. Supporters of the DeVos regulations, such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and SAVE, a Washington, D.C., area-based organization that advocates for constitutional protections during college disciplinary proceedings, say the 2011 guidance was grossly unfair.

Edward Bartlett, founder and president of SAVE, said the 2011 guidance was ineffective at reducing sexual misconduct and infringed on student rights. He said the hundreds of federal and state lawsuits filed after the issuance of the 2011 letter prove it did not help those who report sexual misconduct or those accused of it, he said.

Bartlett noted that a Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct by the Association of American Universities found a slight uptick in rates of sexual assault at top colleges between 2015 and 2019, and reporting of incidents remained low throughout this time period. Two surveys were conducted, one in 2015, which involved 27 colleges, and another in 2019, in which 33 colleges participated. The 2019 survey found the overall rate of sexual assault was 13 percent for all students and nearly 26 percent for women undergraduates at those colleges, according to an AAU report about the data. There was a 3 percent increase in the rate of sexual assault among undergraduate women between 2015 and 2019 at the colleges that participated in the surveys, the AAU report said.

“Not only did they find no improvement, they found it got worse,” Bartlett said.

Melnick, the Boston College professor, said the AAU survey and other data available about the prevalence of campus sexual assault are not strong enough to conclude whether or not the 2011 guidance was effective. There isn’t any empirical evidence that suggests that Title IX guidance issued during the Obama administration made the issue worse, he said. But if the Biden administration intends to revert to the former guidance, it may soon have to provide data to support that decision, Melnick said.

“The current debate over evidence — inconclusive as it is — will loom larger in the future,” he said in an email.

In the years since the guidance, several federal appeals courts have also struck down parts of the Title IX processes that many colleges developed following the Obama administration’s guidelines, deeming them “unfair” and sometimes discriminatory against men.

Experts who study Title IX and advise institutions on how to implement the law said colleges would be better off if the Department of Education takes a forward-looking approach to combating campus sexual misconduct rather than reverting to the 2011 guidance.

Jake Sapp, a Title IX legal researcher for the Stetson University Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, said court decisions that favored students accused of sexual misconduct were a direct response to the 2011 guidance, which didn’t set clear standards for due process.

The DeVos regulations rely heavily on these federal court opinions and went through a formal rule-making process that can’t simply be revoked, as some advocacy groups for sexual assault survivors are urging Biden to do, Sapp said. Even the most contested item in the DeVos regulations — the cross-examination requirement — has been backed by several appeals court decisions and will be applicable to colleges in those judicial circuits even if the Biden administration stops enforcing the regulations, he said.

“The administration can set a regulatory floor, but they can’t build a roof over what the court’s jurisdiction is,” he said. “They can’t say colleges can’t provide this due process protection when a federal court says that you already have to have that.”

Sage Carson, manager of Know Your IX, endorses halting enforcement of the DeVos regulations, but she said the challenges student survivors face have changed significantly in the decade since the 2011 guidance was issued and returning to it isn’t going to effectively address those new challenges.

“Survivors on campus are facing horrendous obstacles to getting support from their school that are nothing like the Obama administration was dealing with,” Carson said. “My fear is that the Biden administration will come in and say, ‘We’ve dealt with this issue before, we know how to do this,’ and not take the time to understand the needs of students right now in this unique moment.”

Carson described obstacles such as a “huge uptick” in students accused of sexual assault filing retaliatory countercomplaints or defamation lawsuits against their accusers. These actions can mean survivors do not receive the support they need from their college or end up in debt from legal fees, she said.

Colleges and students have also been through bouts of “whiplash” as they’ve had to make policy adjustments based on the political positions of the president in office, Carson said. Some institutions have been consistently “awful” on protecting students from sexual misconduct, but other institutions attempted to comply with the Trump administration’s requirements and experienced “confusion, frustration and a lack of resources,” Carson said.

The lack of clarity and conflicting policies and rhetoric has frustrated students and discouraged some from filing sexual misconduct reports, she said.

“There will be schools that are strained by this back-and-forth,” she said. “To restore confidence in survivors turning to their schools, this administration is going to have to be very transparent about what students can expect … This is going to be a tough, uphill battle.”

Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel for the American Council on Education, said college administrators recognize that their institutions can’t simply go back to the 2011 guidance. There are new decisions by federal courts that many institutions must follow, new state laws that change how campuses respond to sexual misconduct and resolution agreements between the Education Department and individual colleges that outline how those colleges must improve their Title IX policies and procedures, McDonough said. The DeVos regulations are just one piece of the puzzle, and eliminating them doesn’t change how colleges must deal with sexual misconduct moving forward, he said.

College officials would appreciate “more flexibility” from the Biden administration — such as guidance that loosens some requirements of the DeVos regulations — but they also spent months pouring time and energy into adjusting their policies to meet the new standards during the coronavirus pandemic, McDonough said.

“We’re tired,” he said. “Don’t give us one more thing to do this academic year. Let us get our students back to as close as we can to normal.”

The Biden administration should begin the work of creating new Title IX regulations that strike a balance for all sides, including those who experience sexual assault, those accused of it and the college officials that are legally responsible for carrying out the procedures, McDonough said. What college officials are hoping for is a “thoughtful” look at how to amend or replace the DeVos regulations with what all sides feel is the fairest possible process, he said.

“Otherwise we’re going to boomerang for years,” McDonough said. “How are we going to get ourselves, as a broad community, to a place where we feel like what we’ve got is pretty fair? That rhetorical question needs to guide a fair amount of the decision making in this next administration.”

Sapp, who is also deputy Title IX coordinator at Austin College in Sherman, Tex., said Biden and the Education Department officials working under him should not focus on rhetoric painting the DeVos regulations as an “attack on survivors” and listen to more than just one line of thought on the issue. Sapp believes the DeVos regulations are a “good starting point” for Biden to build on, but that the politics surrounding them will deter Biden from publicly recognizing that.

“Part of what Biden has demonstrated is that he’s open to diversity of ideas and thought,” Sapp said. “That needs to be demonstrated in the ideas that he has on Title IX … If you’re going to put forward a Title IX regulation that’s going to stand the test of time, it’s going to have to have input from across the board.”

Gruber, the University of Colorado law professor, is not convinced there can be a compromise on Title IX.

“Whatever he does, somebody’s not going to be happy,” she said.

The Biden administration’s path to well-received Title IX requirements is further complicated by outstanding allegations of sexual misconduct against Biden. Some student leaders of college sexual assault prevention groups said the allegations made them feel conflicted about voting for Biden in November, which they felt they had to do in order to reverse the Trump administration’s actions on Title IX. But Carson, of Know Your IX, said that she and other survivors have not forgotten the story of Tara Reade, the woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Biden in 1993, and others who said he inappropriately touched them.

“That’s something that our team is grappling with every day as we approach this administration,” Carson said. “That’s something we’re going to remember moving forward. We should always be supporting equity and supporting survivors, not just when it’s convenient.”

Biden faces Title IX battle complicated by politics and his own history (

Department of Education Department of Justice Discrimination Law & Justice Legal Office for Civil Rights Title IX

Department of Education says schools can’t use ‘national statistics’ to justify women-only scholarships, programs


Don’t give ‘special status’ to outside groups with sex restrictions, either

Largely thanks to the efforts of University of Michigan-Flint economist Mark Perry, schools across the country are facing scrutiny from the Department for Education for offering programs and scholarships that exclude males from eligibility.

His flurry of Title IX complaints indisputably played a significant role in its Office for Civil Rights’ creation of two new “issue codes” last year to track complaints against “single sex campus programs” and “single sex scholarships.”

On Thursday, the Office for Civil Rights went a step further by releasing “technical assistance” on its interpretation of Title IX with respect to such programs and scholarships.

Much of the material is not new to people who follow Title IX complaints and resolutions, and the document explicitly tells institutions that it does not have “the force and effect of law” and is “not meant to bind the public or regulated entities in any way.” (The Obama administration, by contrast, explicitly threatened institutions for not following its nonbinding Title IX guidance.)

But for K-12 schools and colleges that have long acted as if Title IX didn’t apply to activities with the word “girls” in the title, and depictions of only females in their materials, the 11-page document makes plain that it does.

One of the most popular reasons for offering a female-only program or scholarship – supposed underrepresentation – is severely restricted under the feds’ interpretation.

While they can restrict eligibility by sex for “remedial or affirmative action” in “limited circumstances,” schools are still prohibited from using “sex-based quotas.” Even more sweeping, they cannot “rely on national statistics as evidence of limited participation.”

Rather, schools must “clearly articulate why the particular sex-based scholarship or program was necessary to overcome the conditions in its own education program or activity which resulted in limited participation therein“:

As part of this analysis, OCR evaluates whether the classification based on sex was supported by an “exceedingly persuasive justification,” based on a substantial relationship between the classification and an important governmental or educational objective.

Schools targeted with complaints will have to provide “a specific assessment of the facts and circumstances surrounding the scholarship or other program” to OCR. The office will analyze whether the “purported remedial discrimination” has any relation to “overcoming the effects of those conditions.”

It flatly warns schools that their sex-based scholarships justified as affirmative action “may never rely on overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females.”

Schools should also be wary of titles for scholarships and programs that are “reasonably perceived” as stating a “preference or restriction” based on sex. Otherwise they must “clearly state in their public-facing communications,” such as websites and recruiting materials, that such preference or restriction does not exist, despite the title.

OCR notes that it has reviewed scholarship applications and “awardee data, disaggregated by sex,” to discern whether schools have “communicated effectively” about their nondiscrimination policies.

Several sections in the question-and-answer format are answered “Generally, no” on the appropriateness of sex preferences and restrictions. One of them is whether schools can even advertise or promote third-party scholarships, such as by listing them on its website:

OCR expects that schools will take reasonable steps to verify that the sponsoring organization’s or person’s rules for determining awards do not, expressly or in fact, discriminate on the basis sex.

The guidance also cautions schools about providing “significant assistance” to third parties that offer “non-funded” advancement programs, such as fellowships, with sex preferences or restrictions.

Such assistance has historically been interpreted to include giving third parties “special status or privileges” not offered to “all community organizations,” such as by designating faculty sponsors or letting parties use campus facilities “at less than fair market value.” Simply listing a non-funded program on its website, however, is not “significant assistance.”

Some of the guidance is highly nuanced, particularly with respect to elementary and secondary schools. But other parts are direct and unambiguous, such as the section on sex-based restrictions on school facilities:

OCR has opened an investigation into whether a university that offered a designated “women’s only” workout space in its gym facilities violated Title IX by restricting that space to members of only one sex.

Read the guidance.

Department of Education says schools can’t use ‘national statistics’ to justify women-only scholarships, programs | The College Fix

Department of Education Department of Justice Law & Justice Legal Office for Civil Rights

Judge Barrett a reformer for higher education

Opinion – Op-Ed

by Chandler Thornton, 10/25/2020

Conservatives greeted the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court with enthusiasm for her originalist interpretation of the law, but all students who care about civil liberties, regardless of political persuasion, should welcome her nomination for the decidedly positive effect it will have in restoring sanity on America’s college campuses.

Over the last several decades, liberals on college campuses have enacted racial preferences in admissions, clamped down on the free speech rights of campus conservatives, imposed strict ideological tests on students, and eliminated any pretense of due process for students unfairly accused of sexual assault.

In particular, under President Obama, universities were provided guidance in 2011 and 2014 that led to the creation of “kangaroo courts,” where students facing sexual misconduct charges were punished without being afforded a hearing or the right to cross-examine their accuser. This led to a wave of cases that were invalidated by courts nationwide.

Last year, Judge Barrett authored a unanimous opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that restored the rights of a student, named “John Doe,” who alleged his university violated both the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX when investigating and adjudicating an allegation of sexual misconduct brought forward by another student, referred to as “Jane Doe.”

In her ruling in Doe v. Purdue University, Judge Barrett said Purdue’s procedures fell far short of fair, just and impartial treatment.

“John received notice of Jane’s allegations and denied them, but Purdue did not disclose its evidence to John. Withholding the evidence on which it relied in adjudicating his guilt was sufficient to render the process fundamentally unfair,” Barrett wrote.

Judge Barrett went on to cite some of the problems with Purdue’s grossly unfair rush to judgment.

“At John’s meeting with the Advisory Committee, two of the three panel members candidly admitted that they had not read the investigative report, which suggests that they decided that John was guilty based on the accusation rather than the evidence. And in a case that boiled down to a ‘he said/she said,’ it is particularly concerning that … the committee concluded that Jane was the more credible witness — in fact, that she was credible at all — without ever speaking to her in person. Indeed, they did not even receive a statement written by Jane herself, much less a sworn statement,” Barrett noted.

A shift to a more originalist-minded Supreme Court is coming at a time when the spotlight is on higher education, as race-based admissions and the stifling of campus free speech have become controversial flash points.

While Judge Barrett’s views on campus free speech and racial preferences are less documented, she drew clear lines between herself and the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who consistently voted against race-conscious admissions and was an outspoken defender of free speech.

At the Rose Garden ceremony where President Trump announced her nomination, Barrett said, “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too.”

Understanding the importance of applying the law as written, guided by the original intent of the authors, and careful not to inject one’s own personal views or subjective policy opinions, was a hallmark of Scalia’s judicial philosophy.

That Judge Barrett will take the same approach is a relief for those of us looking forward to the day when common sense and fair play return to college campuses.

Chandler Thornton is the national chairman of the College Republican National Committee.

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Amy Coney Barrett Could Change Campus Sexual Assault Rules Forever

Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, could have a huge impact on how campus sexual assault cases are handled if appointed to the nation’s highest court.

Experts told Newsweek how Barrett’s appointment could affect Title IX after she wrote an appellate decision last year that made it easier for students accused of committing campus sexual assaults to challenge their university’s handling of the cases.

Title IX is the landmark civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, aimed at protecting students from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

A spokesperson for the University of Notre Dame, where Barrett is on the faculty, directed inquiries to the White House.

In a statement, a White House spokesperson said: “In Doe v. Purdue, Judge Barrett understood the importance of fair procedures for campus sexual misconduct proceedings and that Title IX protects both men and women from sex discrimination in such proceedings. In addition, Judge Barrett’s approach has been favorably cited by the Third, Sixth, and Eighth circuits.”

Barrett’s decision in Purdue University case

Last year, Barrett wrote an influential unanimous three-judge panel decision in the case of John Doe v. Purdue University for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—a case involving students, identified only as Jane and John Doe, at the university in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Jane alleged her boyfriend had sexually assaulted her on two occasions in November 2015. John later filed a federal lawsuit against the university, arguing it had used constitutionally flawed procedures to determine his guilt. He also claimed the school had violated Title IX when it expelled him and took away his Navy ROTC scholarship.

In her decision, Barrett concluded Purdue’s process had been unfair and that the university may have discriminated against John based on his sex.

According to a summary of the case in the ruling, based on John’s account, Jane and John had been students in Purdue’s Navy ROTC program when they started dating in the fall of 2015. They had consensual sex between 15 and 20 times between October and December that year.

In December, Jane attempted suicide in front of John and they stopped dating after he later reported the attempt to the university. A few months later, during the university’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Jane accused John of sexually assaulting her on two occasions.

She alleged that she had been sleeping with John in his room in November 2015 when she woke to him groping her over her clothes without her consent. She said she had told him it was not okay.

Jane also alleged that John then confessed he had digitally penetrated her while the two were sleeping in Jane’s room earlier that month. John denied all of Jane’s allegations.

She never filed a formal complaint or testified about the alleged assaults, but the university pursued the case on her behalf, according to Barrett’s decision.

“The case against him boiled down to a ‘he said/she said’—Purdue had to decide whether to believe John or Jane,” Barrett wrote.

Barrett criticized Katherine Sermersheim, the university’s dean of students and Title IX co-ordinator, who allegedly sided with Jane without speaking to her. “It is plausible that Sermersheim and her advisors chose to believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man,” Barrett wrote.

She added: “Sermersheim’s explanation for her decision (offered only after her supervisor required her to give a reason) was a cursory statement that she found Jane credible and John not credible.

“Her basis for believing Jane is perplexing, given that she never talked to Jane. Indeed, Jane did not even submit a statement in her own words.”

Barrett also cited the university’s alleged mistakes in the handling of the case, saying John was not allowed to view the investigators’ report and had been handed a redacted version only moments before his disciplinary hearing.

According to Barrett’s ruling, John learned that it falsely claimed he had confessed to Jane’s allegations and did not mention that John had reported Jane’s suicide attempt to the university.

“Two members of the panel candidly stated that they had not read the investigative report,” Barrett wrote. “The one who apparently had read it asked John accusatory questions that assumed his guilt. Because John had not seen the evidence, he could not address it. He reiterated his innocence and told the panel about some of the friendly texts that Jane had sent him after the alleged assaults.”

Jane did not appear before the disciplinary panel or submit a written statement, the decision said. Instead, a written summary of her allegations was submitted by the Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education (CARE), a campus group dedicated to supporting victims of sexual violence.

The group posted an article from The Washington Post titled “Alcohol isn’t the cause of campus sexual assault. Men are” on Facebook the same month John was disciplined, Barrett wrote in the ruling.

The university’s disciplinary panel also did not allow John to present witnesses, Barrett wrote, which included a male roommate who was reportedly in the room at the time of the alleged assault and disputed Jane’s account.

Barrett concluded the university’s process “fell short of what even a high school must provide to a student facing a days-long suspension.”

“John received notice of Jane’s allegations and denied them, but Purdue did not disclose its evidence to John. And withholding the evidence on which it relied in adjudicating his guilt was itself sufficient to render the process fundamentally unfair,” she wrote.

“It is particularly concerning that Sermersheim and the committee concluded that Jane was the more credible witness—in fact, that she was credible at all—without ever speaking to her in person.”

Barrett also said that John’s claims of sex discrimination were bolstered by the pressure put on schools and university by the Obama administration to tackle sexual assault and harassment on campus.

Because the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights had opened two investigations into Purdue in 2016, the pressure on the university to demonstrate compliance “was far from abstract,” Barrett wrote. “That pressure may have been particularly acute for Sermersheim, who, as a Title IX coordinator, bore some responsibility for Purdue’s compliance.”

The lawsuit remains unresolved and John still needs to prove he was discriminated on the basis of his sex to win his Title IX claim before a jury.

How Barrett’s decision could change campus sexual assault rules

Andrew Miltenberg, an attorney representing John, told Newsweek that Barrett’s ruling “set a standard by which [schools] have to hold themselves during an investigation.”

He added that it “not only recognized that there are procedural due process issues, which have to be preserved for someone accused, regardless of what they’re accused of but it also accepted the fact that it’s possible that, whether it’s an investigator, a hearing officer, or a campus culture, there can be bias within the system based on gender and based on a male being the accused.”

Miltenberg added: “We’re not at the point where a judge can decide whether we have enough evidence to win the case, that’s what the discovery process is for, but we are at a point for a judge to recognize that there is a basis for these allegations.”

According to The Washington Post, Purdue University filed a counterclaim in June asking the court to declare Doe’s misconduct violated university policy and that the university was acting within its rights when it suspended him.

Tim Doty, a spokesman for the university, said in a statement to Newsweek: “While Purdue believes in its process and decision-making, we recognize the appellate court was bound by legal procedure to accept each of John Doe’s allegations as true and did not have the benefit of a full evidentiary record when it decided the case.

“That evidentiary record is currently being developed in the district court, and the university looks forward to the opportunity to present its full defense of this matter at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views on Title IX

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who Barrett would be replacing if confirmed, has spoken about due process for those accused of sexual misconduct—and said she believed criticism of some college codes of conduct on the matter was valid.

“The person who is accused has a right to defend herself or himself, and we certainly should not lose sight of that,” Ginsburg told The Atlantic in 2018.

“Recognizing that these are complaints that should be heard. There’s been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that’s one of the basic tenets of our system, as you know, everyone deserves a fair hearing.”

Asked about how to balance due process with the need for increased gender equality, Ginsburg replied: “It’s not one or the other. It’s both. We have a system of justice where people who are accused get due process, so it’s just applying to this field what we have applied generally.”

Brett Sokolow, a consultant who advises schools and universities on compliance with Title IX, says Barrett’s opinion in Purdue would make it easier for accused students to bring civil litigation against universities.

“If an erroneous outcome case makes it to the Supreme Court, Barrett as the author of Doe v. Purdue University, would be a likely vote in favor of the “plausible inference” standard,” he told Newsweek.

“Setting up the kind of circuit split the Supreme Court likes to referee, other circuits seem to follow a pleading standard that makes it harder for a respondent in a campus sexual assault case to prove the outcome of the campus case was infected with sex bias.

“Barrett’s lowering of that standard in Purdue, if adopted by the Supreme Court, would make it much easier for respondents to sue and move their cases forward through motions to dismiss and perhaps summary judgment. They still have to prove sex bias at trial, but Barrett’s opinion in Purdue greatly simplifies the ways that respondents can prove disparate treatment under Title IX.”

“Drastically rolls back protections for student survivors”

Sokolow noted that Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court could also significantly affect Title IX in other ways.

He said Kollaritsch v. Michigan State University Board of Trustees is likely headed to the Supreme Court. “This case is fundamental to the future of Title IX, and will decide whether post-harassment or assault is required for deliberate indifference liability under Title IX,” he explained.

“The key question is once sexual harassment and/or assault takes place, and a school is deliberately indifferent to it, does it have to lead to a second act of sexual harassment or assault for liability to result? Barrett would be a likely “yes” vote in a decision that would significantly narrow the Court’s previous precedent in Davis v. Monroe County.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling in that case held that schools may be liable under Title IX if their response to a known act of student-on-student sexual harassment was “deliberately indifferent.”

Emily Martin, the vice president of education and workplace justice at National Women’s Law Center, told Newsweek that it was “deeply troubling” that a school’s commitment to taking sexual misconduct seriously had been suggested by Barrett as evidence of bias against men in the Purdue case.

“It’s a deeply troubling prospect that an icon of gender equality like Justice Ginsburg could be replaced with a judge who is eager to use sex discrimination laws in order to attack efforts to forward gender equality,” she said.

“It is no surprise the same administration that is doing everything it can to silence student survivors would put forward a nominee who goes out of her way to endorse this backwards and harmful view of Title IX.”

Martin’s was referring to changes to the Department of Education’s Title IX rules by Secretary Betsy DeVos that give a number of protections to those accused of sexual assault on college campuses, which came into effect in August.

They new guidelines narrow the definition of what can be deemed sexual harassment and require in-person cross-examinations between alleged perpetrators and their accusers.

Know Your IX, a political advocacy group, said the move “drastically rolls back protections for student survivors and makes it easier for schools to sweep sexual harassment under the rug.”

K.C. Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center described Barrett’s decision in the Purdue case as the “single most consequential ruling in the area.” He told the Post that it had set a fair, simplified standard that has since been adopted by other circuit courts covering 22 states as well as the federal district court in Washington, D.C.

But Alexandra Brodsky, a staff attorney at Public Justice, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization, told Newsweek: “If Judge Barrett’s approach in Doe v. Purdue were to become the law of the land, though, schools and civil rights agencies would be in a terrible bind:

“By her logic, any efforts to enforce the rights of survivors and other marginalized people are evidence of bias against men and other dominant groups. That is wrong as a matter of law and reality. Students of all genders—men included—benefit when schools respect victims’ rights under Title IX.”

In a recent blog post, Brodsky wrote that Barrett’s opinion in John Doe v. Purdue University was “troubling” because the ruling “turned a sex discrimination statute on its head, using a law meant to prevent and address sexual assault to promote impunity for that very same behavior.”

She said while Barrett’s decision on due process in the case may “may well have been right,” the ruling on the Title IX claim is not only wrong, but “disturbing.”

“Even by Doe’s own account, there was no evidence the school had suspended him because of his sex, as required to state a claim under Title IX,” according to Brodsky.

One of the most disturbing aspects of Barrett’s decision is that “it treats the Department of Education’s efforts to enforce survivors’ Title IX rights as evidence of anti-male bias,” she said.

“Yet Judge Barrett relied on evidence that the school was trying to do right by survivors as evidence that it discriminated against men specifically. That will discourage schools from meaningfully addressing sexual violence, since doing so may—according to Purdue’s funhouse mirror vision of Title IX—justify a suspended student’s suit.”

She said, by Purdue’s logic, any attempt to combat discrimination “will instead serve to protect people who discriminate from consequences for their actions—consequences that may be necessary to root out injustice.”

This article has been updated with a statement from a White House spokesperson.

Civil Rights Department of Education Department of Justice Due Process False Allegations Investigations Legal Office for Civil Rights Sexual Assault Title IX

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Agreed With Amy Coney Barrett That Campus Kangaroo Courts Were a Problem

Federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed Title IX code of conduct trials were flawed.

by Jon Miltimore

In 2018, following the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Trump tipped his hand about who he’d be inclined to choose if given the opportunity to fill another vacancy on the high court.

That person, the New York Times observed, was Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative law professor whom Trump tapped for a federal appeals court in 2017.

A week ago, it appeared the chances of Trump filling another Court vacancy in his first term were slim. However, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 18 during her 27th year on the high court just six weeks before the presidential election, means Trump will get the opportunity to send another nomination to the Republican-controlled Senate.

Some sources claim Barrett still has the edge to win the nomination, though Cuban-American federal appellate judge Barbara Lagoa is also generating buzz.

As the Brett Kavanaugh nomination and previous hearings have shown, Supreme Court battles can be nasty, even nastier than typical political battles. There’s little reason to expect the filling of Ginsburg’s seat to be any different—even if it wasn’t coming just weeks before a presidential election—so it’s no surprise to see that news media are already dissecting Barrett’s court opinions.

Just 48 hours after Ginsburg’s death, the Washington Post ran an article on Barrett’s opinion in Doe v. Purdue University, a Title IX—the rule prohibiting sex-discrimination in public education —case involving a Purdue student (John Doe) who was suspended by the university after being accused of sexual assault by a former girlfriend (Jane Doe).

According to John Doe, as described by a court summary of the case, the couple met in Purdue’s Navy ROTC program and started dating in the fall of 2015. They soon began a sexual relationship. In December, Jane attempted to take her own life in front of John. He reported the attempt to the school, and the couple ceased dating.

“A few months later, Jane alleged that in November 2015, while they were sleeping together in his room, she awoke to John groping her over her clothes without consent,” the Washington Post reports. “Jane said she objected and that John told her he had penetrated her with his finger while they were sleeping together earlier that month. John denied the allegations and produced friendly texts from Jane after the alleged November incident.”

These are serious charges that demand a serious appraisal of the facts and due process. But like plaintiffs in Title IX cases—some 600 lawsuits have been filed against universities since Barack Obama’s Education Department issued its “Dear Colleague” letter to schools warning them they’d lose federal funding if they didn’t prioritize complaints of sexual assault—John Doe encountered something else.

Court documents show the hearing resembled a show trial, including a false confession, that resulted in a year-long suspension of John Doe that cost him a spot in the ROTC program.

“Among the university’s alleged missteps cited by the court: John Doe received a redacted copy of investigators’ report on his case only moments before his disciplinary hearing. He discovered that the document did not mention that he had reported Jane’s suicide attempt and falsely asserted that he had confessed to Jane’s allegations,” the Post reports. “Jane Doe did not appear before the university panel that reviewed the investigation; instead, a written summary of her allegations was submitted by a campus group that advocates for victims of sexual violence.”

All of this fits the pattern of the kangaroo courts universities established after the Dear Colleague letter. As Reason has spent the last several years documenting, these cases tend to presume individuals guilty until proven innocent, while depriving them of the due process necessary to prove their innocence.

Barrett is hardly alone in her jurisprudence regarding the importance of due process. As the Post concedes, campus kangaroo courts were widely criticized by civil libertarians across the political divide.

“Judges of all stripes around the country have been concerned with fairness in these proceedings,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor and retired federal judge appointed by President Clinton.

It was these concerns that prompted US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to issue new rules to Title IX hearings in April that strengthened the rights of those accused of sexual misconduct, including the right to cross-examine accusers and preventing investigators from also serving as case judges. (Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he’d reverse Devos’s ruling if elected president, which prompted some to point out that Biden, who like the current president stands accused of sexual assault, would be guilty under the current standard.)

Few would argue that protecting the rights of sexual assault victims is important, but it’s worth noting that among the critics of the previous standard was Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Post admits the “feminist icon, surprised some victim’s advocates in a 2018 interview with the Atlantic magazine” when she said many of the criticisms of college codes were legitimate.

“The person who is accused has a right to defend herself or himself, and we certainly should not lose sight of that,” Ginsburg said. “There’s been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that’s one of the basic tenets of our system, as you know, everyone deserves a fair hearing.”

Ginsburg is correct that due process and a fair hearing for the accused are fundamental principles of the American system. Yet hundreds of individuals who believe they were denied fair hearings and are seeking redress from universities have found the path difficult due to legal technicalities.

Plaintiffs tend to claim their rights were violated in two ways: 1) the unveristiy violated the plaintiff’s right to due process; 2) the school discriminated against the plaintiff on the basis of sex, violating Title IX.

Prior to Purdue vs. Doe, the Post reports, courts often upheld accused student claims of due process violations “but rejected their Title IX arguments on the grounds that the students had failed a complicated series of legal tests first established in 1994.” Essentially, plaintiffs had to prove not just that their due process rights were violated, but that they were violated on the basis of their sex.

Barrett’s ruling, however, was instrumental in lowering the burden of proof plaintiffs had to show.

“It is plausible that [university officials] chose to believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man,” Barrett wrote in her opinion, citing the political pressure the Obama administration had put on schools to address sexual assault.

Barrett’s opinion was adopted by other courts, and it was this reasoning that caused women’s rights groups to criticize the appellate judge.

Emily Martin of the National Women’s Law Center bristled at the idea of “replacing [Ginsburg] with a judge who is eager to use the language of sex discrimination in order to defend the status quo, and to use the statutes that were created to forward gender equality as swords against that very purpose.”

We’ll never know if Ginsburg would have believed it was plausible to assume that sex played a role in the university show trials that allowed hundreds of people accused of sex crimes to be found guilty without due process or a fair hearing.

What we do know is that on the broader issue of campus kangaroo courts, Ginsburg and Barrett found common ground.

“We have a system of justice where people who are accused get due process, so it’s just applying to this field what we have applied generally,” Ginsburg told The Atlantic in 2018.

Indeed. It was for this reason that America’s founders carved out specific protections for the principle, declaring in the Fifth Amendment that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law… .”

Universities have long been able to deny due process to students accused of sexual crimes, because the allegations against them are not criminal charges. This is a grave injustice.

Accusing individuals of heinous sexual misconduct is a serious matter. A verdict of guilt will be carried with students for the rest of their lives and has the potential to impact their career and future earnings, not to mention their reputation. Such matters are far too serious to withhold from the accused fundamental tenets of our system designed to ensure justice and fairness.

Justice Ginsburg and Judge Barrett might have had starkly different constitutional views, but on this basic idea of justice they found common ground.

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune.