Rep. Polis: ‘Sorry I’m Not Sorry’ For Belittling Student Due Process Rights

 

Jared PolisSome of you may remember my post last week about the disturbing comments Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) made in an exchange with FIRE’s Joe Cohn during a congressional hearing on “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault on College Campuses.” When discussing due process rights for the accused, Polis made the shocking suggestion that college students accused of sexual assault should be expelled even if they are innocent:

“If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people.”

After receiving considerable media backlash, on Tuesday, Polis wrote a piece in Boulder’s Daily Camera explaining that he “misspoke” at the hearing and apologizing to his constituents for his apparent contempt for the due process rights of the accused.

While we appreciated his supposed “apology,” Polis’ Daily Camera piece illustrates that he still holds some seriously misguided opinions about how sexual assault allegations should be handled on college campuses. To set the record straight, FIRE has written a response to Polis’ statement explaining why these allegations should be dealt with by law enforcement. As FIRE’s Susan Kruth writes:

“The public agrees with our common-sense view. A recent nationwide surveyshowed that 91 percent of likely voters believed that local law enforcement, not college administrators, ‘should be primarily in charge of investigating alleged sexual assaults on college campuses.’ This shouldn’t be surprising, given how poorly the public thinks colleges handle sexual assault cases. For two years running, a survey conducted by Huffington Post / YouGov has found that Americans have vanishingly little trust in colleges’ ability to fairly adjudicate sexual assault claims. In 2014, only 12 percent of respondents agreed that colleges do a ‘good job’ of addressing sexual misconduct; in 2015, that number inched up to 14 percent.”

Check out FIRE’s full response to Polis on our website and let me know what you think! You can also watch Polis’s now-infamous statements in the video below or over at the Subcommittee’s YouTube channel, which has the full hearing.

There are 8 comments.

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  1. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Whatever happened to this old line:  ‘better that ten guilty men go free than we convict an innocent man”?

    Due process, we hardly knew thee.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I still think the thing to do is get some woman to accuse Polis of raping her in the same way Jackie Coakely claimed she got raped, and then follow Polis around carrying a mattress.  When the press calls her on it, just point out she is doing what got Coakely and Emma Sulkowicz fawning coverage from the press, that if Polis doesn’t care about due process for male college students he does not care about due process for Congressional Representatives, and besides, women don’t lie about rape. Regardless of how ridiculous the claim must seem, the press has an obligation to believe it.

    Seawriter

    • #2
  3. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Why not just expel all male students under “reasonable likelihood” assumptions?  That should solve the problem.

    • #3
  4. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I heard a rumor that Jared Polis committed sexual misconduct while in Congress.  Therefore he should be expelled from Congress, right?  No trial necessary.  A rumor is enough, eh?  Better ten be expelled than let two guilty CongressCritters remain, right?

    • #4
  5. Richard Cook Inactive
    Richard Cook
    @RichardCook

    David Carroll: Therefore he should be expelled from Congress, right?

    Actually, isn’t the incredibly named Mr. Polis’ logic that every such accused Congressperson must go?  They’re gonna need a flotilla of Ubers on the Hill should that logic prevail.

    • #5
  6. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Richard Cook:

    David Carroll: Therefore he should be expelled from Congress, right?

    Actually, isn’t the incredibly named Mr. Polis’ logic that every such accused Congressperson must go? They’re gonna need a flotilla of Ubers on the Hill should that logic prevail.

    Ah, logic.  The realm to which no CongressCritter dare go.

    • #6
  7. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    In 2014, only 12 percent of respondents agreed that colleges do a ‘good job’ of addressing sexual misconduct; in 2015, that number inched up to 14 percent.”

    I’m surprised Mr. Lukianoff quotes this statistic.  It tell us nothing.  On the surface, it seems that 12% of respondents think colleges observe due process well enough.  But it could just as easily be read that the 88% who think colleges don’t do a good job think they should expel those 10 suspect men as Polis suggests should be done.

    • #7
  8. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Greg L., thanks for this post.   FIRE is doing great work.

    Keep it up.

    • #8

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