Trump admin strengthens due-process rules for college students accused of sexual assault
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May 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration announced Wednesday new Title IX rules aimed at strengthening due process protections for college students accused of sexual assault, prompting opposition from former Vice President and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden – who is currently fending off an sexual assault allegation of his own.
Reason reported that the new rules ensure the person who investigates a claim is not the same person who recommends what action should be taken, enable a representative for the accused to cross-examine an accuser before such a recommendation is made, better ensure that harassment investigations are not brought solely over unwanted speech, and only allow universities to conduct investigations if the alleged victim wants them to. The rules are slated to take effect in August.
Two years ago, I promised to address the scourge of sexual misconduct on our nation’s campuses. The new #TitleIX regulation delivers on that promise. It treats all students fairly and holds all schools accountable if they fail to protect their students: https://t.co/HEuugNWBe0— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) May 6, 2020
"Too many students have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault," Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said. "This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process. We can and must continue to fight sexual misconduct in our nation's schools, and this rule makes certain that fight continues."
In response, Biden accused the Trump administration of moving to “shame and silence” victims of sexual assault, and announced that he would reverse those rules if elected in November.
“It’s wrong,” he said. “And it will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as president, I’ll be right where I always have been throughout my career — on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld.”
The stance is an ironic one for Biden, who is currently professing his own innocence in the face of allegations by former Senate staffer Tara Reade. She says that in 1993, then-Senator Biden assaulted her in a “semi-private” stairwell on Capitol Hill. “He had me against the wall,” she says. “And then his hands were down my skirt and up my skirt. And I was wearing – I wasn’t wearing anything underneath. And then, with his hand, he went from there and entered me – with his hand – and as he was trying to kiss me, and saying things to me.”
Biden vociferously denies Reade’s claims, but has so far refused calls to unseal the University of Delaware’s records of his time in the Senate, which Reade says may still contain a copy of the complaint she filed with his office, as well as notes corroborating that she brought it up to former staffers of his at the time.
Some of the political left, such as New York Times columnist Liz Bruenig, have called on Democrats to start thinking about replacing Biden with a new candidate, and others have declared that whether Biden assaulted Reade won’t affect their support of the pro-abortion, pro-LGBT candidate.
“Let’s be clear: I believe Tara Reade,” Linda Hirshman, author of a book about sexual abuse, wrote in the Times. Even so, she admits she favors “sacrificing Ms. Reade for the good of the many,” i.e., removing President Donald Trump from office.