The Corner

No Part of the Swamp Needs Draining More than the OCR

Many aspects of the Washington swamp need to be drained, but a good case can be made that the most odious of all is the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education. This bureaucratic monstrosity is responsible for the “progressive” assault on school autonomy from K–12 through higher education — demanding obedience to mandates from leftist zealots pushing their visions. If we can’t get rid of the Department of Education, let’s at least staff the OCR with people who will un-do the damage done by Obama’s team.

That’s the topic of my Martin Center article today. In it, I praise the idea of naming University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot to head the OCR and then devote the remainder of the article to a review of the stupendous recent book by K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. — The Campus Rape Frenzy.

In the book, the authors show how the drive to win elections for Democrats at any cost combined with toxic feminist ideology to give us an OCR offensive to impose federal rules on colleges and universities for the handling of allegations of sexual assault. Those rules destroyed the idea of due process of law for the accused. Colleges were pressured to adopt OCR policies that are amazingly one-sided in order to produce as many guilty findings as possible. That both keeps alive the myth that there is an epidemic of sexual assault on American college campuses and helps convince clueless voters that the Democrats are doing something to solve it.

The key to the OCR scheme is creating campus bureaucracies to handle all sexual-assault allegations and making sure that the people in them have been properly “trained” (indoctrinated, actually) to have a “victim-centered” mindset and render a guilty finding on the lowest possible level of proof. Many legal scholars, including women with perfect feminist credentials have denounced the blatant unfairness of the OCR mandates.

But would you believe that the liberal media has ignored the book? It’s too solid to refute, but too damaging to a crucial leftist myth to publicize. Read it yourself and then see if you aren’t rooting for a clean sweep of the OCR and the cancelation of all its illegal “guidance” to colleges and universities.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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