Due process is such a bother

President Obama’s Department of Education has been pushing colleges to abolish due process in sexual harassment cases:

Back in April, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a letter ordering colleges and universities to get more aggressive about investigating and prosecuting alleged incidents of sexual assault and harassment. But while the 18-page missive began with the cordial salutation “Dear Colleague,” it was anything but a casual communication sent from one friend to another. Backed by the full force of the law, this detailed directive set new standards for the resolution of sexual assault claims at colleges and universities. It was formulated, moreover, without hearings, comment periods or other mechanisms aimed at avoiding unintended consequences that could cause more harm than good.

The effects of the letter, which called for dropping higher evidentiary requirements in favor of the lesser “preponderance of the evidence” standard, were immediately felt.

Better ten innocent men be expelled than a single guilty man go free, I guess. In a real court, the administration’s new rules would be unconstitutional, but it seems the Department of Education has the power to force them onto colleges’ quasi-courts. Yet another reason to abolish the Department of Education.

UPDATE: The White House’s own summary of the letter is here.

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