marco rubio caricature flickr cc

Last year, left wing nut bar, Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill, offered one of those bills with an utterly Orwellian title that enables the left to cover their malicious acts with virtuous words. This bill was titled the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. The bill was a direct response to the whole "campus rape" hysteria that led to a pathological liar being able to make a career of accusing an innocent man of rape and the tarring of an entire university and fraternity system for condoning rape.

This bill is evil. Period. Full stop. There are no redeeming features in it.

Early last month, the National Review did a review of the bill by two guys who are not Republicans (one Democrat and one independent) but at least one of them was involved in defending the Duke lacrosse team.

When it comes to due process on campus, Republicans in Congress, who campaigned on vows to rein in the Obama administration’s abuses of executive power, have largely acquiesced in its bureaucratic imposition of quasi-judicial tyranny. For more than four years, the White House and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have used an implausible reinterpretation of a 1972 civil-rights law to impose mandates unimagined by the law’s sponsors. It has forced almost all of the nation’s universities and colleges to disregard due process in disciplinary proceedings when they involve allegations of sexual assault. Enforced by officials far outside the mainstream, these mandates are having a devastating impact on the nation’s universities and on the lives of dozens — almost certainly soon to be hundreds or thousands — of falsely accused students.

One might have expected an aggressive response by House Republicans to such gross abuses of power — including subpoenas, tough oversight hearings, and corrective legislation. Instead, most of them have been mute. In the Senate, meanwhile, presidential candidate Marco Rubio of Florida, Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, and rising star Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have teamed with Democratic demagogues Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Claire McCaskill of Missouri in co-sponsoring a bill that would make matters even worse.

What the bill does is make campus rape an offense that is not investigated by police and adjudicated in court but rather an administrative offense that does not allow the accused to defend themselves, sets the standard of proof at "whatever", and subjects the schools to fines if they do not convict enough of the accused.

The hearing’s climate was captured by Representative Jared Polis (D., Colo.), who asserted: “If there are ten people who have been accused, and under a reasonable-likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all ten people.” In a scene that would have made the framers of the Constitution weep, campus-rape activists in the hearing room applauded this effusion.

But for his bill to move in a Congress dominated by Republicans, McCaskill and her kkklique had to get Republicans on board.

Meanwhile, powerful Senate Republicans have jumped onto Obama’s anti-due-process bandwagon. Six of them, led by Rubio, Grassley, and Ayotte, joined Gillibrand, McCaskill, and four other Democrats in co-sponsoring the benign-sounding but dangerous Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA).

With key Republicans along for the ride, McCaskill and Gillibrand produced a bill designed to advance the administration’s agenda. Its language presumes the guilt of all students accused of sexual assault by repeatedly calling accusers who have not yet substantiated their claims “victims,” without the critical qualifier “alleged.” CASA would also order colleges to provide a “confidential advisor” for these “victims,” with no comparable help for the accused. And it would require universities to publish data on the outcomes of their campus sexual-assault cases (which only Yale does now), apparently in the hope that doing so will invite Title IX complaints against any college that finds an insufficient number of accused students guilty.

Further, McCaskill has said that CASA, by making adjudication processes uniform for all institutions, is designed to help “remove the underpinning of . . . lawsuits” by accused students who say they were railroaded. No wonder McCaskill believes that “victims” might see themselves as “better off doing the Title IX process” than going through the criminal-justice system.

A full list of co-sponsors is here.

Sadly, this is not some bill that Rubio was snookered on.

The Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow asked each sponsoring senator’s office how CASA would ensure due process for accused students. An Ayotte spokesperson declined to answer Schow’s questions, justifying the senator’s co-sponsorship by repeating the canard that one in five college women is sexually assaulted.

A Rubio spokesperson replied, “This bill does not address this issue.” When asked whether college officials or law enforcement would have the most authority to investigate allegations, the spokesperson responded: “The victim will have the most authority.” This reflected (at best) an astonishing misunderstanding both of the need for impartial adjudication of such serious charges and of the fact that at the investigative stage there is no “victim”; there are an accuser and an accused.

Senator Rubio owes us an answer on this. Why did he co-sponsor a bill that establishes a Star Chamber for prosecuting the very ill-defined crime of sexual abuse? Why does he want our sons held hostage to the whim of anyone who wishes to accuse them of assault? Why is the accused not allowed to confront the accuser? Why is the accused not allowed counsel? Why are colleges given a quota of convictions in order to avoid sanction?

Supporting this bill is not the act of a man that believes in either the Constitution or civil liberties.

Image credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

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