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Judge approves anti-male bias lawsuit against university – in the hearing itself

‘I can’t for the life of me find any other explanation’ for guilty finding

U.S. District Judge John McConnell didn’t think there was any reason to wait months to issue an order in a reverse-discrimination Title IX case against Johnson & Wales University.

So he did it from the bench, right after oral arguments had concluded on Monday.

The extraordinarily unusual move means more trouble for the private Rhode Island university, which will continue to face Title IX, breach-of-contract and “negligent inflection [sic] of emotion distress [sic]” claims by a male student found responsible for sexual assault and expelled.

Judge McConnell has yet to issue a fully fledged order explaining why each count was dismissed or granted, but a “text order” posted by Brooklyn College Prof. KC Johnson lists the updated status of each count in the November lawsuit by “John Doe.”

The case was covered in depth in January by Cornell University Law Prof. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection: The accuser and accused were consensual sex partners for most of their interactions; she didn’t report the alleged violations for a year; and her boyfriend actually submitted the complaint but couldn’t be cross-examined because he also served as her “hearing advisor.”

Due process was widely ignored as alleged: The accused was never given a copy of the complaint, the investigator “expressed support for the female student from the start,” and there was no record of the adjudication in the lightning-fast five-week proceeding, according to Jacobson.

Prof. Johnson was at Monday’s hearing in the Providence federal courthouse and gave a tweet-thread summary of oral arguments. He said this bench ruling “appears to be a first” in lawsuits stemming from the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague” Title IX guidance.

“During oral argument, the JWU lawyers conceded they weren’t even going to try to dismiss the breach of contract claim,” Johnson wrote – hence its absence from McConnell’s text order. “Hearing ended with judge giving a 10-minute summary of his ruling.”

That was because the issue had already been settled in two cases the university’s lawyer lost on behalf of Brown University: “Conceded that complaint has pled sufficient procedural errors. Wow.”

The university’s lawyer “conceded that [Doe’s] complaint satisfies wrongful finding” against him, but argued with Judge McConnell on other points. The judge was “very active in questioning,” according to Johnson, frequently challenging the lawyer’s arguments.

McConnell asked why Doe couldn’t cite the “relevance” of the Department of Education’s Title IX guidance documents as a factor in “pressuring” the school to discriminate against men.

Doe’s lawyer, by contrast, drew “almost no questions” from the judge. The lawyer repeatedly highlighted that the university refused to give Doe its “training material,” and that fact was mentioned in McConnell’s order from the bench.

The university told Johnson it doesn’t comment on “active litigation.” Doe’s lawyer James Ehrhard told Providence Journal that accused men have brought 255 Title IX claims nationwide: “By making every young man a predator, they do a disservice to true sexual assault victims.”

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