NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times
June 25, 2020
By Michael Powell
The new approach finds unlikely allies among some feminist scholars, who say colleges and universities were failing to sufficiently protect the rights of young men accused of sexual misconduct.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos fired a shot last month in the nation’s culture wars, overhauling how colleges handle investigations of sexual assault and ending what she called Obama-era “kangaroo courts” on campus.
The new Education Department rules give more protections to the accused, primarily young men who face discipline or expulsion as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct.
The move set off a liberal uproar, denounced by unions representing teachers and college professors, by the National Organization for Women and by an array of Democratic senators. The Trump rules, they said, constitute a radical rollback of protections for victims who seek justice after sexual assaults.
But Ms. DeVos’s actions won praise from a surprising audience: an influential group of feminist legal scholars who applauded the administration for repairing what they viewed as unconscionable breaches in the rights of the accused.
“The new system is vastly better and fairer,” said Prof. Janet Halley, who specializes in gender and sexuality at Harvard Law School. “The fact that we’re getting good things from the Trump administration is confusing, but isn’t it better than an unbroken avalanche of bad things?”
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