A powerful pro-abortion lobbying organization, a member of Congress carrying a famous name, and a nearly century-old group dedicated "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person” each want to strip basic constitutional rights from those accused of a crime.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposes Title IX reforms to change the manner in which colleges and universities handle sexual assault and harassment allegations, The Washington Post reported.
“Schools have been compelled by Washington to enforce ambiguous and incredibly broad definitions of assault and harassment,” she said.
At issue is a proposed rule that would give the person accused the right to question his accuser.
“Institutions must be mindful of the rights of every student,” DeVos continued.
Amendment VI of the U.S. Constitution, a part of the Bill of Rights, provides, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him ...”
This provides the basic right of the accused to cross-examine his accuser and any other witnesses appearing against him.
NARAL Pro-Choice America announced, “A new rule from Betsy DeVos would require universities to allow accused sexual abusers to cross-examine and re-traumatize their victims. This is absolutely sickening.”
Perhaps this can be overlooked from an organization that sees nothing wrong with partial-birth abortions. Some of the others that agree with NARAL should leave legal scholars shaking their heads.
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., tweeted, “No survivor should be cross-examined by his or her accused rapist. Ever. Full stop.”
The legacy left by the late President John F. Kennedy and his brother, the late Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was one founded on the preservation, promotion, and defense of the civil rights of all Americans.
Despite his Harvard University law degree, the younger Kennedy apparently inherited neither the legal chops nor the dedication to the Constitution of that ingrained within his more famous uncles.
Most disturbing, however, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) jumped on the DeVos-bashing bandwagon.
Founded in 1920, the ACLU has supported the freedom of Ku Klux Klan members to spout anti-minority rhetoric, and neo-Nazis the right to march through the heavily-Jewish streets of Skokie, Ill. Yet it would deny a student accused of a crime the ability to adequately defend himself.
“We advocate for fair school disciplinary processes that uphold the rights of both parties in campus sexual assault and harassment cases," the ACLU tweeted. “Today Secretary DeVos proposed a rule that would tip the scales against those who raise their voices. We strongly oppose it.”
The #MeToo movement, prompted by the sexual assault claims against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year, was replaced this year with #BelieveTheVictim, in response to multiple sexual assault claims against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Members of the press and Senate Democrats chose to ignore Kavanaugh’s constitutional guarantees, including presumption of innocence, and claimed he had the burden of proving his own innocence.
Most recently, Michael Avenatti, a lawyer who represented one of Kavanaugh’s accusers who later recanted, has now been accused of domestic violence. During the Kavanaugh confirmation process, he took the position that all victims should be believed. Now that he’s the accused, he’s re-thinking that statement.
The point is, Avenatti should be afforded the same constitutional guarantees — including the presumption of innocence — that he would have denied new Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh.
The people and organizations we rely on to protect our rights and freedoms should know that the Bill of Rights has served us well for nearly 230 years; it shouldn’t be discarded because it’s suddenly fashionable to say “all women should be believed.”
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s 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. To read more of his reports - Click Here.
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