Nearly 300 professors, lawyers, and Title IX experts have signed an open letter in favor of the newly proposed Title IX regulations, which bolster due process, allow cross-examination, and require presumption of innocence.
Organized by the Maryland nonprofit SAVE Services, the letter was unveiled by attorney Margaret Valois on Capitol Hill last Thursday, and was compiled to shatter the myth that strengthening due process in Title IX investigations will hurt women, especially survivors.
“The numerous signatures reveal that noted attorneys, legal scholars, other professionals and legislators… recognize and uphold the important concept of due process and recognize that it is lacking in campus disciplinary proceedings,” Valois told PJ Media.
“Now is not the time for complacency,” said Valois.
Noted signees include Cynthia Garrett of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), National Coalition for Men board member Marc Angelucci, University of Southern California Professor James Moore, and many others (click here to see the full list).
In an interview with PJ Media, Cynthia Garrett, who also is a California lawyer, said she signed SAVE’s letter to “help get the message out.”
“We’ve seen a combination of factors come together to historically reduce due process in Title IX investigations, one of which is the [now retracted] 2011 Dear Colleague Letter,” said Garrett by phone Monday.
“It lowered the standard of evidence, broadened the definition of sexual misconduct, and allowed the Department of Education to pursue colleges for perceived infractions in a more punitive manner,” said Garrett of the 2011 DCL.
Under the Obama-era zeitgeist, Title IX investigators began presuming every man is a rapist and every woman is a victim, suggested Garrett, who has consulted with hundreds of college men and women over the past decade on Title IX-related issues.
“These students often have had no notice of what they’re accused of, no access to evidence, no ability to find witnesses, no ability to see the evidence… so, that’s what happens to accused students in most cases,” she added.
Three members of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal — a noted education nonprofit in North Carolina — also added their names to the list.
“We signed on with SAVE’s letter because far too little attention has been given to the serious due process problems under Title IX,” said George Leef, who serves as one of the Center’s experts on education policy.
While the proposed Title IX regulations are subject to change, many lawyers view Betsy DeVos’s proposal as a good sign.
“Due process and the presumption of innocence are important,” said Texas lawyer Mark Pulliam when asked why he signed. “But when they disappear, what’s left is raw power. If you take freedom seriously, raw power is a scary thing.”
Going forward, members of the public can provide feedback on the proposed regulations anonymously or otherwise by visiting this webpage. The ability to provide input is slated to end on January 28, 2019 at 11:59pm.
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