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Troubling provision in Campus Accountability and Safety Act by Hans Bader


It is a conflict of interest — and sometimes a violation of the Constitution — for a fine to go to the very unit of government that employs the judge or official who imposed the fine. That gives the official an incentive to find the accused guilty in order to enrich the official’s agency. But such fines are apparently authorized by a provision of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) (also known as H.R. 5354 and S. 2692).

CASA imposes penalties on colleges for violating regulations related to sexual violence. But a provision in the bill lets the money be kept by the agency imposing the fine, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). That provision needs to be removed from the bill, because it will give OCR an incentive to find innocent colleges guilty of violations in order to keep the resulting fines, violating colleges’ due process rights. It will also strengthen OCR’s ability to pressure colleges and schools to adopt politically-correct policies unrelated to sexual violence.


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