News & Politics

Feminist Law Professors Stand Against Title IX Abuse

Harvard University (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Perhaps Title IX started as a good thing, but under the Obama administration, it was broken. Title IX has been used to destroy the lives of numerous men based on allegations of sexual assault with zero evidence or even contradicting evidence. At least one man killed himself, reportedly unable to deal with being labeled as a sexual predator.

However, for those who have been fighting against the stupidity, a surprising ally just emerged. The College Fix reports:

Four self-identified feminist law professors from Harvard filed a submission with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Monday, asking it to bestow “Fairness for All Students Under Title IX.”

They have “researched, taught, and written on Title IX, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and feminist legal reform,” and they argue that OCR’s direction under President Obama has led colleges to infantilize women, discriminate against students of color, censor protected speech and turn relationship disputes into “stacked” proceedings that help neither accuser nor accused.

Elizabeth Bartholet, Nancy Gertner, Janet Halley, and Jeannie Suk Gersen (below) were among 28 Harvard Law professors to sign a letter published in the Boston Globe in 2014 that called out the university for a new policy that imposed kangaroo courts on accused students.

The four also joined 15 colleagues in denouncing the campus-rape documentary The Hunting Ground as “propaganda” that smeared a Harvard Law student who had been cleared by every body that heard the case. (A grand jury even refused a prosecutor’s request to indict him, a very rare occurrence.)

They attached their published scholarship and writing to the 71-page submission, including Halley’s 2015 Harvard Law Review article and Gersen’s 2017 Chronicle of Higher Education essay “The Sex Bureaucracy” co-written with her husband, fellow Harvard Law Prof. Jacob Gersen.

These professors have pointed out that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights had no legal authority to dictate that colleges make such draconian rule changes or face cessation of federal funding. I recommend you read all of The College Fix’s story, as it’s detailed and well worth your while.

One thing I’m not completely sold on, however, is the idea of keeping the “preponderance of evidence standard,” as these professors suggest. That said, it’s something that I would easily find myself being able to live with if the other conditions they suggest are met, such as all other aspects of due process being upheld, and the investigative body not being the same entity making the final decision.

As it stands now, often not even the preponderance of evidence standard is being met when some men are expelled.

Let’s be clear: absolutely no one wants rapists to go unpunished. Apparently that needs to be said. And apparently innocent people being punished isn’t a concern among those who support the OCR’s directives.