Tag: Jared Polis

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.]

Colorado Anti-Fracking Initiatives Anger Ranchers, Democrats

 

colorado-frackingOn the north slope of the Grand Mesa in Colorado, a cattle ranch sits in the Plateau Valley that has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. They raise hay and pasture on about 1,500 acres of irrigated ground, both owned and leased, grow alfalfa and grass hay, and set a few acres aside for small grains. During the summer, they run their cattle on National Forest land — 60,000 acres that they share with 10 other ranchers. What many people might not realize about ranches like these is that the energy industry is a big part of their lives.

Carlyle Currier’s great grandfather bought his first farm in 1891, and the current ranch in 1906. “The legacy of such long-term ownership,” said Currier “gives you a real sense of the importance of caring for the land. You certainly can’t profitably farm the same ground for more than a century without taking good care of the resources.” With a son currently studying agriculture business at CSU, Currier is not only taking care of the legacy left to him, but securing that legacy for the fifth generation of ranchers and beyond. Gas drilling is an important part of this legacy, and has been for decades.

“Gas drilling has been a part of the ranch my entire life,” said Currier, “the first well was drilled in 1958 when my grandfather owned the ranch. There were several wells drilled in the late 1970s and then about 20 more in the last decade.” The ranchers and energy companies work together to keep these relationships working. “We have, of course, witnessed huge changes in the way the energy companies operated over the years,” said Currier, “but they have all generally, with a very few exceptions, treated us with respect and tried to work with whatever request we have made concerning well pad locations, timing of drilling, and protection of our property.” These relationships have had incredible benefits for the Currier family and their ranch.