Daily Caller editor Amber Athey is scheduled to present a program on the importance of due process today at the American University campus, but some students plan to be hiding from Athey's dangerous talk in a "safe space" organized by AU's leading feminist group.
Maureen Smith, a Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies student who is also president of AU Women's Initiative, is helping organize the safe space. Ms. Smith was quoted by PJ Media reminding students to unplug from social media during the potentially traumatic talk.
I gather that Ms. Athey's talk will focus on due process and the Me Too Movement, which has severely curtailed due process for men accused of sexual misconduct against women. We're all in favor of punishing sexual offenders to the full extent of the law. . . but isn't it a good idea to make sure they are guilty first?
Ms. Athey explained why due process is so important:
"It's a God-given right outlined in the Fifth Amendment that ensures innocent people don't have their lives ruined by a mere allegation,” said Athey. “Unfortunately, the #MeToo movement has gone so far that men are presumed guilty until proven innocent.”
“We must balance the desire for justice from sexual assault victims with the rights of the accused. Otherwise, innocent people will be wrongly punished and victims will not get the justice that they deserve,” Athey added.
It is very short-sighted of the Women's Initiative to oppose a lecture of due process.
I sincerely hope none of the members of the Women's Initiative will ever be falsely accused of anything serious enough to be adjudicated in a court of law.
But if this happens, they will have one best friend: due process.
In a way, due process is the safe space that gives the falsely accused a fighting chance.
We discard it at our peril.