Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor and self-identified liberal, has denounced the recent focus on campus sexual assault policies as ignoring the rights of the accused for political reasons.
Dershowitz, who in October joined 27 other current and former Harvard Law professors in criticizing the school’s new Obama-administration-compliant sexual assault policy, recently told the Boston Globe that while he can accept "affirmative consent" laws in principle, due process is being denied.
“These rules are written to preclude a defense” for the accused, Dershowitz said.
A week earlier, Dershowitz told Time magazine something similar.
“Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense,” Dershowitz said.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued the “Dear Colleague” letter that set off the sexual assault policy firestorm. This began a pattern of the federal government using the issue and student loan money as leverage in order to affect college administrators' behavior.
Earlier this year, under pressure from OCR, Ohio State University fired its band director for not doing enough, in its opinion, to combat a sexualized culture that had upset about a dozen students. Shortly after the director was fired, OCR removed the university from its list of colleges being investigated for improperly handling sexual assault complaints.
The message to schools was clear: Throw someone out, punish someone, or there will be trouble.
“Schools do not get any credit from the Department of Education because they provide adequate or more-than-adequate due process,” Ohio attorney Josh Engel told the Washington Examiner at the time. “All the Department seems to be concerned about these days is results, which is, ‘how many kids have you disciplined?’ ”
That kind of thinking is what has led to 50 accused students suing their universities for alleged due process violations.