Opinion

 

Dear Colleagues

Sep. 24, 2017

Dear colleagues;

Betsy DeVos today rescinded the part of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter that explained why schools must apply a preponderance of evidence standard in campus redress hearings under civil rights laws, such as Title IX.

This follows DeVos recent comments where she threatened to revoke the Dear Colleague Letter because the era of "rule by letter" is over – 
But then she just issued her own "letter" by modifying President Obama’s letter, and removing only a piece of his directive.

Devos has no authority to ALLOW schools to violate Title IX by subjecting the credibility of women to stricter scrutiny than their male attackers, which is what it means to allow schools to apply a burden of proof more onerous than preponderance.

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BETSY DEVOS DOESN’T CARE ABOUT DUE PROCESS – SHE JUST WANTS TO WEAKEN TITLE IX AND SUBJUGATE WOMEN

Sep. 12, 2017

By Wendy Murphy

Betsy DeVos has made it clear that she intends to revoke President Obama’s 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter,”  a letter that simply gives schools guidance on how to comply with women’s and girls’ educational civil rights. She says her motive is to protect "due process" rights for campus sex offenders. 

Here’s the truth.

Betsy DeVos doesn’t care about “due process” rights for accused students. How could she? There aren’t any. Due process rights apply when the government is endeavoring to deprive a person of a constitutionally protected liberty interest. Colleges are not the government and there is no constitutional right to remain in college.

Which doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to want due process rights for college students. Many people do, because some students are expelled without any process whatsoever, even for minor offenses like cheating, smoking marijuana, and drinking alcohol. In fact, students are often expelled for smoking pot, without an investigation or hearing, and without having the drugs for testing to make sure it was pot that the student was actually smoking. Students also get expelled for assaults against Muslim, black and Jewish students, without investigations and hearings. Betsy DeVos has never once objected, or expressed concern that expelling all these types of students without due process is problematic. Why? Because DeVos doesn’t give a damn about due process. What she cares about is subjugating women, and only women, to deprive them of the right to equal and safe access to education, a right they have enjoyed for almost fifty years. 

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND ALL VICTIMS’ ATTORNEYS, ESPECIALLY GLORIA ALLRED AND IRWIN ZALKIN

Aug. 31, 2016

by Wendy Murphy

Dear Gloria, Irwin, and the American Bar Association;

You have all expressed an interest in helping prevent campus sexual assault, but your actions belie your words.

To the American Bar Association (ABA): you recently adopted a policy urging all colleges and universities to segregate out only violence and abuse of women for second-class treatment in campus-based civil rights redress proceedings. You nowhere urge that schools treat any other class of student in such a discriminatory manner. Nor do you explain why you believe women as a class should be subjugated, or why violence against women deserves worse treatment compared to other civil rights abuses. Indeed, you utterly fail to acknowledge that women were granted full equality in civil rights laws nearly forty-five years ago when Title IX was enacted (Title IX covers private schools) and “sex” was added as a protected class category to Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title IV covers public schools). This shameful move by such a prestigious legal organization is both disturbing and curious. Forty-five years after being granted full equality, women have a right to expect the ABA to issue a policy statement demanding enforcement of their rights, once and for all.

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WHY CRIMINAL PROSECUTION COULD HELP BILL COSBY AND HURT VICTIMS

Jan. 05, 2016

Cosby ArrestAs satisfying as it was to watch Bill Cosby take a Pennsylvania perp walk last week, the bloom may soon fall off the prosecutorial rose as Cosby’s team of attorneys prepares to use the criminal case to its strategic advantage.

For example, Cosby could ask the judges handling civil lawsuits in California and Massachusetts to put the brakes on those cases until the criminal trial is over.  Generally speaking, criminal cases are prioritized over civil cases, in part because criminal defendants have speedy trial rights while civil defendants do not. In addition, a civil case could interfere with the integrity of a criminal prosecution, which is why judges usually issue a “stay” order, essentially putting the civil case on ice until the criminal matter is resolved.

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An Open Letter To Harvard Law Professor Nancy Gertner

Feb. 02, 2015

by Wendy Murphy

Dear Nancy,

I’ve read your recent articles about campus sexual assault. I appreciate and respect your position as an advocate for accused sex offenders, but please stop using your gender and your status as a feminist to persuade others that you are also an advocate for women’s safety and equality.

Indeed, contrary to your claim that you have worked to improve the law for rape victims, you have, in my opinion, fought to make things worse.

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