I've written about Title IX before. For a conservative pundit, it's the gift that keeps on giving. What ridiculous violation occurred today that I can mock and denounce? Only, it's really not funny. People's lives are being ruined. And it needs to stop.
Title IX started out as always with good intentions: ending sexual discrimination on college campuses. And Congress knew the perfect way to do it: threaten every college and university in America with loss of federal funds. But the simple directive not to discriminate on the basis of sex has been warped via fiat through the Clinton and Obama administrations into a massive nightmare of kangaroo court trials that violate every principle of due process under the law.
In the past, male students have largely been the victims of this new standard of "justice." A drunken night of consensual sex can easily turn into a nightmare of rape charges and shattered lives. But in recent years, men have been using this same law to sue for violation of THEIR rights. And they've been winning.
The most recent absurdity comes from The University of Cincinnati, where a male student claimed HE was the victim of sexual assault after a drunken hookup. The female student in question has been suspended indefinitely as a result. Analysts are speculating on a nightmare of future scenarios where the first person to race to the dean's door to file charges wins. And this case gets even worse: the female student is also suing and has claimed that the male in question only filed a complaint against HER in retaliation for a complaint she filed against one of their fellow ROTC members leading to his dismissal from the program.
I swear it's stories like this that might bring back chastity.
The court in Ohio (a REAL COURT this time) will have to unravel this mess. Both students in question are listed anonymously on the filing and therefore have issued no comments. Likewise, the University Title IX office has declined to comment. Probably a wise decision.
But that leads me to the other high profile Title IX case to hit the news this week: that of former MSU football player Keith Mumphery. Mumphery, for those of you who haven't been following the case, a receiver for the Houston Texans and graduate student at Michigan State, was expelled by the University and released from the team after being found guilty of sexual assault by MSU at a Title IX trial for which he was not present.
The rape accusation occured after a sexual encounter in which the female claims to have been too intoxicated to consent to sex (as is so often the case with these trials.) She reported the alleged assault to police, who investigated and declined to prosecute. So, she then filed a Title IX complaint against Mumphery with MSU. Again, an investigation was conducted. A trial was held at which Mumphery was present but was not allowed to question his accuser. He was nonetheless cleared.
But, the woman filed an appeal after the original case was dismissed. MSU notified Mumphrey via an old email account, so he did not receive word of the second trial and was not present. And in the second trial he was found guilty. The New York Times accurately describes this as a case of "triple jeopardy." But in Title IX trials, the rule of law does not apply.
So now, his life is ruined. No other team has granted him a tryout. He's unlikely to be admitted to another graduate program after being expelled by MSU, despite being an honor roll student.
And now Mumphery has filed suit against MSU for violating HIS rights. I hope he takes them to the cleaners. I feel compelled to point out that Michigan State is the same university that held a Title IX investigation into convicted USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar - and cleared him. So, clearly they need to clean house in their Title IX office.
Last September, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos pledged to review the "Dear Colleague" letter issued under the Obama administration and issue new guidelines for handling sexual assault cases on college campuses. Those changes can't come fast enough. Lives have been ruined and assaults have gone unpunished under the current policy. In fact, Congress should act to eliminate these Title IX trials altogether. They are a clear violation of every standard of due process. And as much faith as I have in Betsy Devos, she won't be Secretary of Education forever. We'll eventually have another one, under a Democratic administration. One who may decide that the "Dear Colleague" letter didn't go far enough and that all male students are hereby retroactively guilty of rape.
I don't know whether Keith Mumphery or the two ROTC students at University of Cincinnati are guilty of sexual assault. But rape is a felony. It should be reported to the police and tried in actual courts of law. Victims and defendants should be represented by attorneys. They should have the right to investigate allegations, present evidence and confront their accusers. And college students should not be held to one standard of prosecution while non-college victims and accused are held to another.
But under our current system, whoever files charges first wins, today's defendant is tomorrow's accuser.
And everybody is likely to sue.