August 15, 2014

K.C. JOHNSON: Three GOP Senators Join the Crusade Against Due Process.

To the surprise of many, three Republican U.S. senators have joined the Democrats in supporting the weakening of due process rights of students accused of rape and sexual assault in campus hearings.

Along with earlier answers from Marco Rubio, the offices of two additional Republican senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have now responded to questions submitted by the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow. (To date, none of the four Democratic co-sponsors have responded to Schow, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, who oddly implied that 19 percent of college women have filed sexual assault complaints.) So it appears that a broad, bipartisan consensus exists to weaken due process on campus.

Grassley’s spokesperson answered most of Schow’s questions; Ayotte’s office provided a stream-of-consciousness response that evaded much of what Schow had asked. Ayotte is a former state attorney general. Grassley has been a legislator—at the state or federal level—since 1958. That the two experienced lawmakers seem contemptuous of due process is deeply disturbing.

But not entirely surprising.