Tag: Due process

Louisiana Enhances Student Due Process, Free Speech Protections, While Dept of Ed Threatens Both


Last month, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law that will significantly strengthen key civil liberties in higher education. HB 185, introduced by Rep. Charles Owen, codifies important free speech protections for students at Louisiana’s public colleges, while HB 364, introduced by Rep. Scott McKnight, provides critical due process protections. My employer, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), advised Louisiana legislators as they drafted and revised each bill.

HB 185 makes important revisions to Louisiana’s existing campus free speech law. Among its provisions, the law adopts the speech-protective definition of student-on-student harassment established by the Supreme Court in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which defines student-on-student harassment as conduct “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.” HB 185 also prevents colleges from charging security fees to students and student organizations based on the content of their expression or the anticipated reaction to an invited guest’s speech.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with Bob Eitel about the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX rules. Bob explains how the Obama administration manipulated Title IX to erode due process in favor of kangaroo courts and secret inquiries. He discusses how the Trump administration under Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed the Obama changes, and how the newly proposed Biden rules not only threaten free speech and academic freedom, but trample parental rights and have the potential to destroy girl’s and women’s sports at the university and K-12 level. Bob also shares his view that Title IX is being used to usher in radical gender ideology and is effectively a backdoor to fundamental cultural change. 

Bob Eitel is a co-founder and president of Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is fighting to reduce the power of the federal government and the influence of government sector unions in education and workforce policy and to defend the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans in the classroom and the workplace. Bob previously served as Senior Counselor to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from 2017 through 2020 where he supervised the implementation of the Secretary’s regulatory agenda and was an architect of the Secretary’s reforms concerning Title IX and the Higher Education Act.   

Additional information about the proposed Title IX rules can be found on DFI’s website (https://dfipolicy.org/titleix/). Concerned Americans can submit a comment about Title IX to the Department of Education through either www.dfipolicy.org or https://protecttitle9.org.

God Blessed the USA


It’s a sad fact that most of the people protesting in the streets in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, and Chicago have never been outside the United States. They have never seen the difference between the appearance of liberty, and the true embodiment of it. Even though many in the Democrat party have been outside the country, they do not appear to have learned the lessons from travel that I did.

In 1970 my stepfather was assigned to Clark Air Base in the Republic of the Philippines. I went to high school there, graduating in 1973. Clark sits in a large flat area cleared from the jungle and at the time served as a base of operations for aircraft flying sorties in the Vietnam war. I remember vividly that Mrs. Mattingly, one of our teachers at Wagner High School, wore her husband’s POW bracelet. In that bamboo steamer of a country, I came to appreciate the differences in outlook between a country built on the rule of law, and a country built on the rule of one man.

It’s all crazy again today! Join Jim and Greg as they slam Ventura County, California, for telling residents they won’t be allowed to stay home if they test positive for COVID and share a single bathroom with anyone not infected. They also hammer Joe Biden for proclaiming his innocence in the Tara Reade allegations but also vowing to deny due process to college students accused of sexual assault. And they throw up their hands as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says doctors and nurses who flocked to New York to help save lives will have to pay taxes for the time they were in the state.

Just When We Thought Peter Strzok Was Gone


After finally recovering from the smirking, disrespectful and arrogant face of Peter Strzok, and approving of his subsequent firing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he’s back.

He’s decided to file a lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department, stating that his firing was “politically motivated and in violation of two constitutional amendments.” Especially amusing is that he seems conveniently confused about whose actions were politically motivated.

I guess, for starters, we’re supposed to feel sorry for him. As the lawsuit says:



For more than two years, we have discussed whether or not Donald Trump is fit to be President. Little attention has been paid to the same question regarding Hillary Clinton. (No, this is not another defense of Trump’s election.)

Clinton’s preferred policies, methods, and plans for power are beside the point. My concern is more fundamental. Democrats ran an unprosecuted felon for the highest office in the land — and that proposal went unchallenged.

Quote of the Day: Due Process and Fairness


Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seem to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag. – Margaret Thatcher

It appears we are seeing this play out in this week’s news, but it has been a problem for years. Certainly since the Department of Education changed standards on sexual assault accusations on campus.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America unload on President Trump for even saying he wants to see most aspects of the Democrats’ gun control agenda in a comprehensive bill and for apparently having little regard for due process rights.  They also discuss the resignation of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and how the West Wing seems to be in a constant state of turnover.  And they close with good economic news, as new reports show wages rising – especially for low-income workers – and that the number of jobless claims filed last week were the fewest since 1969.

[Member Post]


This isn’t a joke, and before you say ‘no,’ just hear me out. Greg Gutfeld had Christina Hoff Sommers on his podcast three weeks ago, and I just got around to listening to it now. They talked about the #MeToo movement and the spate of accusations that have followed in the wake of the Weinstein […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly stunned to see liberal California Gov. Jerry Brown veto bills from his even more liberal legislature, including one that guts due process for those accused of sexual assault on college campuses and another that would ban morals clauses for employees of religious institutions.  They also throw up their hands over reports that the FBI spent years documenting Russia’s shady but successful efforts to steer U.S. nuclear policy and uranium deals its way during the Obama years  – but never made any of it public until now.  And they get a kick out of the Republican congressional candidate in Florida who claims to have been abducted by aliens and communicated with them telepathically several times since.

On People Control


shutterstock_381308797Among the various down-ticket items on the ballot for Washington State voters is so-called gun control initiative aimed, ostensibly, at keeping guns out of the hands of people likely to hurt themselves or others. I read Initiative Number 1491 over my morning coffee, and you can too. It provides law enforcement agencies and others a vehicle for obtaining a court order preventing someone from possessing, buying, or using firearms.

The initiative begins by outlining who can petition (the petitioner) the court to have an individual’s (the respondent) second amendment rights temporarily abridged. Those people are law enforcement officers, as well as a person who has some relationship to the respondent, such as a family member, a step parent, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a co-parent (regardless of relationship status), or someone who lives with the respondent, even someone who has lived with the respondent within the previous 12 months.

The proposal also outlines what information must be provided to the courts by the petitioner, as follows:

[Member Post]


Dallas, TX—enraged black sniper in a parking garage shoots 12 people, killing 5 police officers.  He shoots one officer several times at point blank range!   Police negotiators tried to talk him down for 4 hours.  After this failed, then they sent in a robot armed with a bomb to take him down.  This morning […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.

The Process Is no Longer Due


shutterstock_150586103No guns for terrorists, the left emotes. It is a bold stand, as proven by the non-existence of people who disagree. The sticking point, as always, is how does one determine who is a terrorist? Their answer appears to be, because they have a list of terrorists. Duh. If only English jurist Edward Coke had known that you could simply grant this right to the innocent, and deny it to the guilty, how much time and money could have been saved on the act of stripping men of their rights?

Of course Joe Manchin wants the innocent to have a fair trial before being deprived of their property and fundamental rights. But the guilty? Why would we shield them in this way? Gone are the days of notifying men of the charges against them and granting a fair hearing. In are the days of noble government officials who can be trusted to suss out the truth of one’s guilt while being unburdened by standards of evidence, and other trifling limitations.

How does the left know those they want to deny their second amendment rights are terrorists? Well, they are on the terror watch list. How did they get on the terror watch list? Well, by being terrorists. How do they know they are terrorists? Why, they are on the terror watch list. So on, ad infinitum.

The Campus Accountability and Safety Act Would Mildly Improve Campus Due Process


shutterstock_238978654The Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) is the subject of a spectacularly poorly researched article by George Will last week, and has been raised by a number of Ricochetti, so I thought it was worth working out what it does. The Act is not going to pass this year, but it’s worth understanding the legislation in contention (even if it doesn’t pass) and this will almost certainly be reintroduced next year and it might pass then. There are some criticisms of it that are simply incorrect. Thus, for instance, the use of the term “victim” in a crime survey context is not a violation of anyone’s civil rights and it’s not new (as anyone could tell if they looked at the law being amended). There are also aspects of Will’s argument that I think are clearly wrong, but on which I would appreciate correction. Happily, Ricochet seems like the place in which to educate myself.

CASA Contents: Higher Education Act

The CASA substantively amends three acts, as well as clarifying its lack of impact on a fourth and calling for a study to be written. Firstly, it amends the Higher Education Act, to require that universities make their protocols more transparent, formally allocate responsibilities with local law enforcement, and review their agreement every two years. If the police and university cannot agree, there is a substantial fine unless the institution submitted a form explaining the problem, showing that it had attempted in good faith to come to an agreement, and including the university’s final proposed agreement. In the 2014 version of the bill, the Secretary could then decide whether or not to impose crippling fines. In the 2015 version of the bill, the Secretary does not have that choice.

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.

Colorado Representative Says That If One Out of 10 Students May Have Committed Sexual Assault, It’s ‘Better to Get Rid of All Ten People’ Just In Case


o-JARED-POLIS-facebook-620x400Yesterday FIRE’s Legislative and Policy Director, Joe Cohn, testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training during its hearing on “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault on College Campuses.” When delivering his testimony, Joe elaborated on the importance of preserving the due process rights of accused students during investigations of campus sexual assault. But one moment from the hearing stood out in particular.

As you can see from the video below, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) suggested that the “preponderance of the evidence” standard — which requires only that fact-finders be 50.01 percent certain in order to find an accused student guilty — may be too high of a bar for campus sexual assault cases:

“It certainly seems reasonable that a school for its own purposes might want to use a preponderance of evidence standard, or even a lower standard. Perhaps a likelihood standard. I mean, we’re talking about a private institution, and if I was running one I might say, well, you know, even if there is only a 20 or 30 percent chance that it happened, I would want to remove this individual.”[Emphasis added.]

What Do You Owe The Law?


shutterstock_254582680In some ways, I’m one of the nuttier libertarians on Ricochet, always willing to put in a good word for David Friedman and his anarcho-capitalist theories. But I’m also a law-and-order gal: when people come together, it’s easy for me to see that they benefit from agreeing to some rules to guide their conduct (one of the reasons I sympathize with anarcho-capitalists: they, too, believe that rulemaking is such a ubiquitous feature of human behavior that there is a market for law). Moreover, I’m a lawyer’s kid, which means I grew up thinking of due process as a moral good.

For many reasons, I attempt to cooperate with the law. When our home was burgled, though nothing expensive was stolen, I took extensive notes, with accurate hand-drawn pictures of stolen items, and spent several days’ worth of time trying to expedite police action on my case. Not because I thought I’d ever get my stuff back, but in hopes that, if I cooperated with the police quickly, the burglar might actually be caught, and other residents spared the pain we had just been through. Despite my efforts, it took half a year for the police to follow up. The police refused to accept my notes and drawings at the time the case was fresh, and, months later, when a police detective finally took interest, my family had bigger problems to deal with, and we no longer could spare time to help. The material I prepared for the police still sits, collecting dust, on a shelf, a casualty of bad timing.

Even the bohemian crowd I ran with in college made efforts to help the police when we could. We were, for the most part, science and engineering students – the squarest kind of bohemian. When a pervert was roaming the village, half-climbing through women’s windows at night in order to cop a feel, we offered our ground-floor apartment in a rickety, easy-to-break-into house to the police for a stake-out. In retrospect, perhaps this wasn’t a practical offer, but who am I to judge? All I know is we tried to assist them, but were told nonetheless that the police would take no action: it seemed that this fellow (and he was a fellow – I remember his knuckly, hairy hands hovering over me) would have to completely enter someone’s abode and do something even worse before the police would care. Or whatever “We can’t act until he escalates” means.

[Member Post]


David Deeble directed me to this story at the Washington Post, which in turn cites Ben Swann’s website. Basically, an 11-year-old student remarked on his mother’s use of cannabis oil during an anti-marijuana presentation at school, after which the boy was seized by CPS and the mother’s home was forcibly searched for illegal drugs.  There […]

⚠️ This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet's community of conservatives and be part of the conversation.

Join Ricochet for free.