America’s college campuses have long displayed contempt for the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Now Congress is prepared to pass legislation that tramples students’ Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights as well.
Harrowing allegations of sexual assault at colleges, as well as the lack of support some colleges provide to accusers, have become national news stories. These cases have prompted agitators to denounce the “rape culture” behind booze- and drug-fueled parties and colleges’ refusal to do anything about it. Universities have responded to this pressure by performing their own investigations into criminal allegations and taking action outside local and state justice systems — even when authorities declined to prosecute.
Enter Congress. In the past couple of weeks, three bills have been introduced to address campus sexual assault, the most noteworthy of which is the Campus Safety and Accountability Act. But far from ordering colleges to honor the Constitution, the bill turns the Bill of Rights upside down by favoring the interests of the accuser over the rights of the accused, assuming a crime has taken place instead of determining whether a crime took place.
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