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Ginsburg questions due process in college sex assault cases

As we discussed here last year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has taken steps to rescind federal guidelines regarding how colleges and universities should handle sexual assault accusations that were implemented under the Obama administration. Among the changes sought by DeVos, which have been met with pushback, including lawsuits, is a change in the burden of proof required from a "preponderance of evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence" to find a student guilty of assault.

Now a perhaps unlikely public figure seems to be agreeing with the changes. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to be appointed to the nation's highest court, said in a recent interview that she thinks the due process rights of students accused of sexual misconduct on campuses are being violated.

Justice Ginsburg said, "There's been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that's one of the basic tenets of our system." She said that criticisms of college codes of conduct, not just on sexually-based offenses, but on other types of misconduct, are valid. However, she was discussing the #MeToo movement when she made the statements about campus disciplinary procedures.

Students accused of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct have sued colleges and universities, often successfully, claiming that their right to due process was violated. If your child is facing such accusations, whether the case is being handled by the college and/or local law enforcement, it's essential to take the matter seriously. A Maryland attorney with experience handling sex crime cases can provide essential guidance and support.

Source: Reason, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thinks Some College Title IX Trials Are Unfair to the Accused," Robby Soave, Feb. 19, 2018

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