The censor at the New York Times must have nodded off.
How else do you explain this story in which prominent feminist legal scholars praise the Trump administration’s changes to the Obama guidance on handling accusations of sexual assaults on college campuses?
Due process for the accused (generally a male student) took a hit in the Obama guidelines, and Education Secretary Betsy deVos has referred to the Obama-approved tribunals as “kangaroo courts.”
DeVos’ legion of critics have been up in arms at her rules, which would strengthen due process, a cornerstone of American jurisprudence. The New York Times found support in a surprising place:
But Ms. DeVos’s actions won praise from a surprising audience: an influential group of feminist legal scholars who applauded the administration for repairing what they viewed as unconscionable breaches in the rights of the accused.
‘The new system is vastly better and fairer,” said Prof. Janet Halley, who specializes in gender and sexuality at Harvard Law School. “The fact that we’re getting good things from the Trump administration is confusing, but isn’t it better than an unbroken avalanche of bad things?”
. . .
‘I’m a feminist, but I’m also a defense attorney who recognizes the importance of due process,” said Prof. Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge and lecturer in law at Harvard, who opposed the Obama-era rules. “These are fences I’ve straddled all my life.”
. . .
Advocates applauded the [Obama] directives as sensitive to the trauma of victims and a righting of the scales of justice. But Professor Halley and like-minded scholars viewed these rules as dangerous overreach, encouraging an arbitrary and unfair system.
Supporting the Trump administration’s revamping of the rules comes laden with risk, as more than a few liberal critics accuse these feminists of having lost their way. Yet some of the strongest female voices in legal circles occupy this hill of dissent.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said in speeches and interviews that the Obama-era regulations deny due process and a fair hearing to the accused. Nadine Strossen, a past president of the American Civil Liberties Union, said on a National Review podcast that the new regulations from Ms. DeVos represented “a step forward in due process for everybody.”
Ms. Strossen’s former organization, the A.C.L.U., takes a different view and has filed suit to block the Trump regulations.
I had missed this story and thank Powerline for noticing it.