Phi Beta Cons

Lawmakers Need a Lesson on Due Process

Sadly, it often appears as if the war against due process on campus has many friends. While the bipartisan group of senators sponsoring the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, meant to address the issue of sexual assault at colleges and universities, is surely well-meaning, they’ve crafted a bill that seems wholly unconcerned with the rights of the accused and demonstrates a casual indifference to the rule of law.

Thankfully, a group of lawyers with specific experience in the area of campus sexual assault cases has drafted a letter to the lawmakers involved with some suggestions for revisions to the bill. Over at ACTA’s blog, we have only good things to say about these attorneys’ recommendations, though we lament the need for such basic reminders about the importance of fundamental legal protections:

It is a sad commentary on the state of our national institutions that lawmakers need a reminder about protecting due process of law and the rights of the accused as well as those of victims. Everyone wants to stop sexual assault, on campus and everywhere else. But trampling on the rule of law to do so is unwise and flies in the face of the Constitution’s spirit.

With any luck, some of the letter’s recommended policies will make their way into the bill. But those who love the rule of law must energetically remind their leaders to hold fast to it.  

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