American college students could be sitting ducks for sham rape accusations if President Joe Biden’s nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education gets confirmed.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit advocacy group, sounded the alarm, saying college students can kiss their due-process rights goodbye if Catherine Lhamon is approved.
In a statement Wednesday, Robert Shibley, the executive director of FIRE, said, “Lhamon’s history and rhetoric indicate that she will put her thumb on the scale of justice — ripping away fundamental rights and encouraging a patently unfair shadow justice system that deprives students of their right to due process.”
Lhamon was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to serve as the chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in December 2016.
In January, Biden appointed her to the race-hustling post of “Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council for Racial Justice and Equity.”
In May, Lhamon was nominated as assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education.
Shibley said students’ rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act were “moving in the right direction” under the Trump administration, “but Catherine Lhamon’s nomination just shows how threatened the progress we’ve made is.”
In 2020, then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos enacted new Title IX regulations to ensure that a student accused of sexual harassment or assault would be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
In the past, students accused of sexual misconduct were often presumed guilty and suspended from school even before an investigation was conducted.
Biden has indicated he plans to roll back the Trump administration Title IX rules.
The alarming lack of due process procedures to protect students wrongly accused of sexual assault has resulted in egregious civil rights violations.
The rape hoaxes at Duke University in 2006 and at the University of Virginia in 2014 show the need for such protections.
In both instances, male college students who were falsely accused of rape were defamed and publicly vilified and had their lives destroyed because school administrators and the left-wing media presumed they were guilty before the facts were uncovered.
The 2014 rape hoax at the University of Virginia started because a female student lied to Rolling Stone magazine, claiming she had been gang-raped by several brothers at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
It later turned out that the accuser had made up the story to get the attention of a male student she had a crush on.
In 2015, Rolling Stone issued a full retraction and was also ordered to pay $1.65 million to the maligned fraternity to settle a defamation lawsuit.
The 2o06 Duke University rape hoax was even more outrageous because the race-baiting media hyped a nonexistent racial angle because the accuser was black.
In that scandal, a black student at North Carolina Central University who worked part-time as a stripper falsely accused three white members of Duke’s lacrosse team of raping her at a party.
An investigation later revealed that the allegations were fabricated.
In 2007, the North Carolina district attorney who led the sham prosecution was disbarred and forced to resign, and the lacrosse players — who had sought $30 million in defamation damages from Duke — settled their dispute for an undisclosed amount.
The Trump administration’s guidelines were designed to prevent such miscarriages of justice by protecting due process and ensuring that the accused is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
According to a recent FIRE report, many colleges across the nation “are refusing to implement a single, fair disciplinary process for all students, instead going to absurd lengths to restrict their rights.”
“Nearly two-thirds (62.2%) of America’s top 53 universities do not explicitly guarantee students that they will be presumed innocent until proven guilty,” according to the organization.
The lack of a uniform standard for adjudicating sexual misconduct claims on college campuses opens up a dangerous slippery slope where rape accusations could be weaponized to frivolously ruin an innocent student’s life.
Ryan Ansloan, the lead author of the FIRE report, said, “This report is proof that institutions will go to absurd lengths to abridge their students’ rights.
“No student should have to face a confusing, unwieldy campus judicial system with the deck already stacked against a fair process.”
Everyone deserves due process, especially during these politically divisive times, where race-grifters like Jussie Smollett try to stoke race wars by making false accusations.
In the United States, the presumption of innocence is proffered even to illegal aliens accused of heinous crimes, including rape and murder.
Why would a Biden official not want to extend this basic courtesy to American college students, especially since most universities are heavily subsidized by their parents’ tax dollars?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.