Op-Ed: Kirsten Gillibrand’s crusade for campus injustice
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is furious that the Trump Department of Education is pulling back from Obama-era demands that colleges junk due process in the name of fighting sexual assault.
She and 30 other congressional Democrats last week wrote Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that they’re “extraordinarily disappointed and alarmed” over actions to diminish “enforcement of federal civil rights law.”
Specifically, they complain that DeVos has hired staff hostile to the department’s 2011 guidance on how schools should approach campus sexual assault.
They’re absolutely right about the hostility: DeVos and her team are ending the jihad by the department’s Office for Civil Rights, which was launched at the behest of extremists like Gillibrand and her colleagues.
Behind the campaign was the claim, based on a single study that’s since been fully discredited, that one US coed in five is a victim of sexual assault. In fact, later — and much more extensive — FBI research shows that women on campus are safer than their off-campus peers.
Which of course doesn’t mean that rape (and lesser offenses) don’t happen on campus, but merely that there’s no unique “rape culture” to be fought.
But the advocates still got their jihad, as Team Obama ordered colleges and universities to institute kangaroo courts to handle sex-assault claims — star chambers where the accused typically has no right to counsel, to examine (and so be able to challenge) evidence and testimony against him or sometimes even to know the specific charges against him.
The Democrats’ letter warns that when a school “mishandles an incident of sexual assault, that this is rarely an isolated incident on that campus” — which is certainly true, if your definition of “mishandling” is giving the accused any rights at all.
The lack of due process has schools across the nation facing lawsuits for expelling students on laughable grounds — including at least one case where even the supposed victim insisted everything was consensual.
Of course, Gillibrand is too committed to admit to any excesses: She’s even still a big fan of Columbia graduate Emma Sulkowicz, aka “Mattress Girl” — whose nationally publicized charges against a fellow student have been utterly debunked by extensive evidence, including her texts with him before and long after the fact.
Sexual assault, on campus or anywhere, is a serious issue. Too bad Gillibrand and her allies are set on exploiting it for their own political gain at the expense of basic justice.