The American Civil Liberties Union has lost its way. It filed a lawsuit Thursday against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on behalf of four victims' rights groups.
The lawsuit seeks to block the Department of Education from implementing new Title IX provisions scheduled to go into effect on August 14. The rules would restore the due process rights of students accused of sexual assault and harassment.
Title IX is a 1972 law prohibiting gender discrimination, including sexual assault, at schools. The Obama administration removed many due process rights of students accused of such crimes — DeVos wants to see them restored.
The lawsuit alleges that the changes would "inflict significant harm" on victims and "dramatically undermine" their civil rights.
NBC News reported that "The rules championed by DeVos effectively bolster the rights of due process for those accused of sexual assault and harassment, allowing for live hearings and cross examinations." It added, "It's what agency officials say was lacking during the Obama administration to protect all students under Title IX."
Instead of the "presumption of innocence" standard in which the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed a crime, the ACLU would effectively require the accused to prove his own innocence.
Not only would the accused be required to do the near-impossible of proving a negative — that he didn't commit a crime — but the ACLU, which is supposed to support the constitutional rights of those accused of a crime, would now deny him the very means of doing so.
No more live, open hearings; no more right to cross-examine witnesses. But Ria Tabacco Mar, director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, was good with it.
"Betsy DeVos has created a double standard that is devastating for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, who are overwhelmingly women and girls," she said. "We are suing to make sure this double standard never takes effect."
The ACLU is endorsing the worst elements of the "Me Too" movement, while ignoring the constitutional rights of the accused. It's pushing the shrill demands made by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, during the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
"Not only do women like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed. They need to be believed," Hirono said. Conversely, "I just want to say to the men of this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change."
The ACLU now appears to side with author, speaker, and filmmaker Emily Lindin, who said in 2017, "Here's an unpopular opinion: I'm actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations."
She added, "Sorry. If some innocent men's reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay."
But then again, she doesn't have to pay the price — innocent men wrongfully accused have to do that.
National Review editor Charles C.W. Cooke observed of the lawsuit that "The ACLU is lost." Townhall editor and frequent Fox News contributor Guy Benson replied on Twitter, "they're a run of the mill left-wing grievance group now. their original purpose is over."
Two years ago, when the ACLU supported the FBI's raid on the offices of former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said that the organization had "sunk to a new low," and became a "cheerleader" for the violation of civil liberties.
With Thursday's lawsuit, they've sunk even further.
Remember when the ACLU fought for the Bill of Rights? Good times.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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