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Presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Wednesday to reverse a rule implemented by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ensuring due process rights for college students accused of sexual assault.
The campaign promise comes as Biden himself stands accused by former Senate staffer Tara Reade of sexual assault in 1993 — for which he and his defenders are demanding due process.
In a statement, Biden claimed, ironically, that the Trump administration rule was little more an attempt to “shame and silence” sexual assault survivors, The Hill reported.
“It’s wrong. And, it will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as president, I’ll be right where I always have been throughout my career — on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld,” Biden said, incredibly.
The new rule DeVos issued on Wednesday trims the definition of sexual harassment, now requiring universities to produce evidence and provide for the cross-examination of students who claim they have been assaulted.
The administration said the rule will ensure that our country’s founding constitutional principle of due process is maintained for the accused.
“Too many students have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault,” DeVos said in a statement.
“This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process. We can and must continue to fight sexual misconduct in our nation’s schools, and this rule makes certain that fight continues,” she noted further.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is enforced by the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. The Obama administration implemented changes to Title IX that essentially removed due process protections for students accused of sexual harassment, leading to a rash of accusations and scores of lawsuits from the accused.
The rule change meant, essentially, that accused students were automatically considered guilty and were thus denied fundamental rights and protections, such as the ability to scrutinize evidence presented against them or question accusers.
In addressing Biden’s promise to undo the new rule, the Trump campaign blasted the former VP for wanting to hold himself to a different standard than college students.
“Biden should cut the malarkey and provide an honest answer to Americans – why shouldn’t he be held to the same standards he spent years imposing on everyone else?” said Andrew Clarke, a campaign spokesman, in reference to Biden’s “No Malarkey” campaign touring theme.
People can argue over validity of the allegation against Biden, but him publicly renouncing and promising to undo due process protections for college students while he demands those protections for himself is indefensible. https://t.co/ElKXYsGQo4
— AG (@AGHamilton29) May 7, 2020
Would be insane for the next interviewer who sits down with Joe Biden to not directly ask him why he thinks a college student shouldn’t be entitled to the same presumption of innocence that he demands for himself.
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) May 7, 2020
Biden said that the new rule “gives colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence” on campuses while it would “strip survivors of their rights.”
“It lets colleges off the hook for protecting students, by permitting them to choose to investigate only more extreme acts of violence and harassment and requiring them to investigate in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward,” he claimed, though the DeVos rule in no way appears to carve out special protections for the accused.
“Survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. Today, Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump published a rule that flies in the face of that belief and guarantees that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people,” Biden said without a hint of irony or self-awareness.
During the hearings into what turned out to be bogus sexual assault allegations against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court hearings, Biden and other Democrats were singing a different tune.
Kavanaugh’s accusers were not simply to ‘be heard’ but automatically believed, Democrats demanded at the time.
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