Phi Beta Cons

Blatant Conflict of Interest in Campus Accountability and Safety Act

Writing with his usual clarity and command of facts and cases, Hans Bader of Competitive Enterprise Institute points out a glaring problem with the proposed Campus Accountability and Safety Act in this Liberty Unyielding piece. It would allow the same government agency that imposes a fine to collect it. In this case, that would be the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education. Bader formerly worked in that agency and attests that it “is one of the most ardently left-wing federal agencies.” Letting it levy fines and pad its own budget with them would a terrible idea. “Giving the OCR the ability to fine colleges millions for dollars will encourage them to curry favor with the OCR by doing things like restricting politically incorrect speech on campus. It will also give OCR expanded leverage to curtail due process for students accused of various offenses.”

The bill, sponsored by Senator McCaskill, seems to be nothing but the usual political grandstanding over a problem that additional federal regulation can do nothing to help. With the provision about fines in it, it is intolerable.

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

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