We've already mentioned that a political party's platform is a document of limited importance, but the GOP platform has a plank that is of considerable interest to those worried about the elimination of civil rights of those accused of sexual assault on campus.
What's the GOP's plank? Well that such complaints should be handled by . . . law enforcement.
Under guidelines set up by the Obama administration such accusations have been handled by college tribunals–often the equivalent of a kangaroo court–where the accused does not have the due process guaranteed by Western jurisprudence and necessary to mount a defense.
That's because the anti-sex discrimination statute known as Title IX has been interpreted to mean that colleges have a duty to adjudicate sexual assault as a disciplinary matter. Yes, they also adjudicate assaults, thefts and drug use, but there hasn't been the media attention for those issues that sexual assault has received.
Getting disciplined for drug use, or even assaulting someone, won't land your name in the papers as a criminal. But getting accused of sexual assault now allows a student to be named in local papers and branded a "rapist" on campus, even without the facts of the case being revealed.
Oftentimes, the accusation is as fact, when the actual details of the case increasingly amount to a he said/she said regretted drunken hookup. There was the case at Amherst, where the student was expelled even though the woman texted friends right after the encounter making it clear it was a mistake and not sexual assault.
There was the case at the University of Findlay, where two students were expelled even though the woman allegedly bragged to friends about the encounter. There was the case at Lynn University, where the woman claimed she was too drunk to consent but was seen on video cameras just 30 minutes before the encounter behaving normally.
The police are more knowledgeable about investigating allegations than campus officials, who might also worry that, if they let an accused person off, even one who is transparently not guilty, it might not look so good to Title IX officials, who have a lot to do with whether the schools get government funds.