Purdue U Latest Casualty Of Due Process Date Rape Suit

Purdue U Latest Casualty of Due Process Date Rape Suit; Courts Establishing Minimum Procedural Protections, Regardless of DeVos

violated the due process rights

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WASHINGTON, D.C.  (July 1, 2019) –  A federal appeals court has just ruled that Purdue University violated the due process rights of a student who was found guilty of the sexual assault of his girl friend even though the complainant never testified, he wasn’t able to see and rebut the evidence against him, and two of the three panel members who found him guilty didn’t even read the investigative report.

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This is only the latest in a growing number of cases where attorneys for students accused of sexual assault have been successful in using arguments based upon due process - for private as well as public colleges - reports public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who helped start this change in strategy from trying to argue simple unfairness of mere violation of college rules.

Indeed, he says, this decision, by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, is just the latest demonstration of the importance of basing cases brought by those accused of sexual assault on due process, rather than simply arguing that the procedure was unfair, violated college procedures, etc.

Yale University, a private rather than a public institution, just settled a case charging that it violated the due process rights of former basketball player Jack Montague in expelling him for an alleged rape.

Yale's capitulation comes on the heals of a new precedent-setting ruling from a federal judge in Tennessee that private universities, just like public ones, must provide due process protections to students accused of sexual assault.

Not only does arguing a case on due process grounds greatly increase a plaintiff's chances of winning - since, in the absence of such pleadings, courts all too often deferred to the so-called expertise of those in academia - it also decreases the risk that the Department of Education's new Title IX rules will not include similar protections, and/or that they will be struck down by the court.

Put simply, constitutional due process trump's federal rules and even state statutes, so cases such as these set a constitutional minimum of procedural protections to which institutions of higher education will be held, regardless to what happens to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's rules when they are finally issued, says Banzhaf.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.

Professor of Public Interest Law

George Washington University Law School,

FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,

Fellow, World Technology Network,

Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH),

2000 H Street, NW, Wash, DC 20052, USA

(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418

http://banzhaf.net/ jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com  @profbanzhaf




About the Author

JOHN F. BANZHAF
JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D. Professor of Public Interest Law George Washington University Law School, FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor, Fellow, World Technology Network, Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) 2000 H Street, NW, Wash, DC 20052, USA (202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418 http://banzhaf.net/ jbanzhaf@law.gwu.edu