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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Colleges Treat Sexual Misconduct Allegations Unfairly

by The Daily Signal | 3.27.18

Kevin Daley / @kevindaleydc / February 20, 2018

Colleges and universities have not respected the due process rights of the accused when resolving allegations of sexual misconduct, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during public remarks.

A feminist icon and patroness of the #MeToo movement, Ginsburg expressed sympathy with widely held perceptions about systemic injustice in college rape tribunals.

Ginsburg told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Rosen last week that women should never be afraid to complain about disparate treatment, but added that the accused must be treated fairly. She noted that campus administrators often fail to abide by these tenets when adjudicating assault or harassment allegations.

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“There’s been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that’s one of the basic tenets of our system, as you know, everyone deserves a fair hearing,” Ginsburg said.

Rosen then asked if she believes these criticisms are valid.

“Do I think they are? Yes,” the justice replied.

“We have a system of justice where people who are accused get due process, so it’s just applying to this field what we have applied generally,” she added.

In September 2017, The Atlantic ran a three-part series on campus sexual assault by Emily Yoffe. The series suggested that the balance of power in many campus assault investigations is seriously asymmetrical, impeding those unfairly accused—particularly men of color. These processes, Yoffe suggested, are encouraged by purposefully vague federal guidelines promulgated during President Barack Obama’s tenure, as well as dubious scientific assertions.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has expressed sentiments tracking Ginsburg’s. DeVos rescinded portions of Obama-era Title IX guidance that some believe encouraged inequitable procedural practices in higher education.

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The Daily Signal

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