Honest question for those putting out panicked press releases claiming that Betsy DeVos has just silenced rape survivors on college campuses:
How exactly does due process silence anyone?
The new Title IX regulations released today by the Department of Education outline a school’s legal obligation to respond to every report of sexual harassment or assault. They require schools to investigate all complaints and emphasize the importance of supportive measures (such as course adjustments; schedule changes; counseling; no-contact orders; dorm room reassignments; and/or leaves of absence) for all survivors, even those who choose not to file a formal complaint.
They also require schools to adopt investigatory and disciplinary procedures that are fair and unbiased.
So, to which of these procedures do the rules’ opponents object?
— Do they object to informing students of the specific claims against them in a timely manner?
— Do they object to letting accused students present witnesses in their own defense?
— Do they object to letting accused students present potentially exculpatory evidence, such as text messages?
Exactly which of these basic aspects of due process silences or otherwise harms survivors?
Many of the opponents of the new rules say they’re concerned that allowing accused students to question their accuser will retraumatize victims. But cross-examination does not have to be traumatic. In fact, the new rules recommend that college administrative proceedings employ certain “rape shield” protections, such as putting the parties in separate rooms; requiring that the questioning be done by a third-party; and prohibiting questions about an accuser’s unrelated sexual history.
Do the opponents of the rules object to any attempt to test the credibility of an accuser?
The Department of Education’s new Title IX regulations do not “roll back” protections for survivors. Rather, they codify existing case law. As such, they aim to ensure fairness and protect the legitimacy and the integrity of college disciplinary decisions. Survivors should praise efforts to ensure that disciplinary decisions are not overturned by courts or regarded as illegitimate in the court of public opinion.
These new rules help to do that.
So tell me again how they silence survivors?