By Rick Manning
Due process is the legal concept that underpins the American legal system as without it, the concept of innocent until proven guilty is null and void.
What the Biden administration is attempting to do to Title IX through their regulatory changes is to turn innocent until proven guilty to guilty without any means of proving your innocence for students in our university systems.
I am an alumnus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California and the following short story of the abuse of the student right to due process under Title IX brings me no pleasure to tell you, but it is glaring.
Matt Boermeester kicked the game winning field goal for the USC football team in the 2017 Rose Bowl game against Penn State, but just a few weeks later his life was thrown into turmoil as he was charged by the University with abusing his girlfriend.
Boermeester was dismissed from the University without being allowed to refute the charges and face his accuser in spite of his girlfriend’s denial that the events resulting in his dismissal ever occurred.
From Rose Bowl hero to expulsion in just a few months with nowhere to go to get his side of the story told. But the catch-phrase of the University is to Fight On, and Boermeester did just that, challenging the University’s denial of his due process rights to the California state Court of Appeals where he earned the overturning of his expulsion under the grounds that he was denied any semblance of fairness.
Boermeester’s case against my alma mater continues as he seeks redress for a life ruined due to an out of control system where men on campus are guilty when accused with no opportunity provided to even prove their innocence.
The Trump administration took necessary steps to end this perverse abuse of justice by forcing universities and colleges to provide basic legal protections for the accused and now Joe Biden’s Education Department seeks to end due process on college campuses once more.
Trust me, if a star football player at the University of Southern California can lose everything without the ability to defend himself, your kid doesn’t have a chance.
Individual cases of abuse are tragedies, but the damage being done to our nation is even greater through this guilty with not chance to defend yourself policy. College students are experiencing adult life for the first time. The idea of due process and innocent until proven guilty are philosophical constructs which they likely have never experienced first-hand. Under the Obama guidance and now Biden’s proposed regulation, the concept of justice in America is turned on its head.
When students learn that their classmate was expelled without any recourse or ability to even defend himself, they experience an America without justice. And logically, they assume that this is emblematic of the actual criminal justice system. The rejection of American values that we are seeing by those who we entrust into our higher education system is at least partially fed by the inherent unfairness of this Department of Education mandated kangaroo court.
When a Rose Bowl hero at a football crazy school can be expelled without ever being allowed to confront his accuser, denied the opportunity to offer statements denying the accusation by the person who was allegedly assaulted, what chance does the average student have?
In the world of Title IX under Joe Biden, the answer is none.
That is a lesson of American injustice that we cannot allow the Biden administration to instill into our nation’s future leaders.
And that is why every American must submit comments to the Biden Education Department opposing these Guilty without recourse regulations today.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.
Adapted from an Aug. 11, 2022 speech delivered in front of the U.S. Department of Education.
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