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Biden Administration Guts Due Process Protections for Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Added 09-15-22 07:21:01am EST - “Under the new regulations, Title IX investigators can deny students access to the evidence against them.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Biden administration guts due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

College students investigated for sexual harassment or assault will once again be stripped of due process, thanks to new regulations released by the U.S. Department of Education in June.

The new rules, which apply to investigations under Title IX, part of a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, rescind rules crafted and implemented by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during the Trump administration. They mark the return of the "single investigator model," which empowers a single college administrator to investigate, judge, and sanction alleged misconduct.

The Biden administration regulations also require schools to apply a "preponderance of the evidence" standard when investigating complaints. Under that standard, investigators must find an accused student guilty if they conclude it is more than 50 percent likely that the allegations are true. Under the DeVos regulations, by contrast, universities needed "clear and convincing evidence" to punish an accused student.

Under the new regulations, Title IX investigators can deny students access to the evidence against them. They are required only to give accused students a "description of the relevant evidence." That description can be given "orally," meaning accused students are not entitled to review testimony, transcripts, or other records used to determine their guilt. The new rules also allow schools to deny accused students a live hearing and the opportunity to question their accusers.

The Biden administration's regulations mark a return to those implemented under President Barack Obama. Progressives have been largely supportive, despite concerns raised by free speech and civil liberties advocates. In 2018, when a group of Democratic senators sought to postpone the due process rules proposed by DeVos, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression noted that "since 2011, approximately 117 federal courts, as well as a number of state courts, have raised concerns about the lack of meaningful procedural protections in campus adjudications."

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