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Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:35 PM

The Atlantic: The ACLU Declines to Defend Civil Rights

Finley Peter Dunne .... coined numerous political quips over the years. .... A version of one showed up in a line delivered by Gene Kelly in the 1960 film, Inherit the Wind. Kelly (E.K. Hornbeck) says, "Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

Here's something a lot of DUers will find discomforting.

KC Johnson was a prominent defender of the Duke lacrosse players. He is the author of Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.

WhatCouldGoWrongHat Retweeted

Powerful, in @TheAtlantic, from @conor64 on ACLU & new TIX regs: "The ACLU issued a public statement that constituted a stark, shortsighted betrayal of the organization’s historic mission: It vehemently opposed stronger due-process rights for the accused."



IDEAS

The ACLU Declines to Defend Civil Rights
The civil-liberties organization has taken a stand against stronger due-process protections in campus tribunals that undermines its own principles.

9:52 AM ET

Conor Friedersdorf
Staff writer at The Atlantic

Last week, the NRA kept defending gun rights, the AARP kept advocating for older Americans, and the California Avocado Commission was as steadfast as ever in touting “nature’s highest achievement.” By contrast, the ACLU issued a public statement that constituted a stark, shortsighted betrayal of the organization’s historic mission: It vehemently opposed stronger due-process rights for the accused.

The matter began when Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos put forth new guidelines on how to comply with Title IX, the law that forbids colleges that receive federal funding to exclude any students, deny them benefits, or subject them to any discrimination on the basis of sex. ... The most controversial changes concern what happens when a student stands accused of sexual misbehavior. “Under the new rules, schools would be required to hold live hearings and would no longer rely on a so-called single investigator model,” The New York Times reports. “Accusers and students accused of sexual assault must be allowed to cross-examine each other through an adviser or lawyer. The rules require that the live hearings be conducted by a neutral decision maker and conducted with a presumption of innocence. Both parties would have equal access to all the evidence that school investigators use to determine facts of the case, and a chance to appeal decisions.” What’s more, colleges will now have the option to choose a somewhat higher evidentiary standard, requiring “clear and convincing evidence” rather than “a preponderance of the evidence” in order to establish someone’s guilt.

[Emily Yoffe: Reigning in the excesses of Title IX]

The ACLU doesn’t object to any of those due-process protections when a person faces criminal charges. Indeed, it favors an even higher burden of proof, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” to find an individual guilty. ... But the ACLU opposes the new rules for campuses. “Today Secretary DeVos proposed a rule that would tip the scales against those who raise their voices. We strongly oppose it,” the organization stated on Twitter. “The proposed rule would make schools less safe for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, when there is already alarmingly high rates of campus sexual assaults and harassment that go unreported. It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused and letting schools ignore their responsibility under Title IX to respond promptly and fairly to complaints of sexual violence. We will continue to support survivors.”



One line in particular was shocking to civil libertarians: It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused. Since when does the ACLU believe a process that favors the accused is inappropriate or unfair?
....

Those protections {afforded the accused in criminal-justice system} are never totally secure. Responding to this very controversy, a federal lawmaker with apparent contempt for the Sixth Amendment has declared:

No survivor should be cross-examined by his or her accused rapist. Ever. Full stop.



One wonders whether that will be the position of the ACLU in the near future—and how much of its staff can be relied on to oppose it vocally even today.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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Reply The Atlantic: The ACLU Declines to Defend Civil Rights (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2018 OP
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #1
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #2
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #4
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #11
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #12
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #16
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #17
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #18
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #19
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #20
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #21
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #22
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #23
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #24
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #25
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #26
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #27
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #31
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #32
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #33
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #34
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #35
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #36
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2018 #5
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2018 #7
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #8
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2018 #9
hlthe2b Nov 2018 #10
Loki Liesmith Nov 2018 #37
Downtown Hound Nov 2018 #38
Beakybird Nov 2018 #3
elleng Nov 2018 #14
elleng Nov 2018 #13
elleng Nov 2018 #15
SharonClark Nov 2018 #29
elleng Nov 2018 #30
PoorMonger Nov 2018 #28

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:41 PM

1. But they will defend the rights of Nazis to stampede through Charlottesville

That organization received my last check a long time ago. Useless.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:50 PM

2. Are you kidding me? This is Devos' attempt to dismantle protections for sexual assault victims

She wants to allow their accused perpetrators to question the victims--not just their representative, but the perpetrator! This isn't about due process, if is about letting schools play lip service to sexual assault victims, dismantling the Obama era protections (which were consistent and applauded by outside experienced sexual assault prosecutors throughout the country) and thereby intimidate (mostly) women from coming forward.

ACLU is SOOOO right about this and in fact, they will get ANOTHER check from ME.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:54 PM

4. I see your point about this ruling

And retract my earlier statement about this one. But I'm still not over the ACLU going to bat for the Nazis in Charlottesville. Any idiot could have seen that march was going to turn violent, and Heather Heyer paid the price for them going to bat for them. And I'm not going to forget or forgive that any time soon.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:15 PM

11. I don't always agree witht the cases ACLU takes, but 1st amendment does require them to

occasionally represent the despicable. it isn't the first time, they have represented Nazis (e.g., Skokie, Il 19778 protest). But, given I want them representing the MEDIA on 1st amendment issues, I have to understand that that will be the case at times.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:26 PM

12. They're under an obligation to defend civil liberties, not terrorism or violence

And any fool could have seen that they were planning violence. The chatter on their message boards shows that they had been planning for violence for months prior to that march. It's no accident that they showed up with armed militia, shields, and body armor. There had already been violent rallies and clashes in Berkeley prior to Charlottesville with many of the same players involved.

The ACLU can play innocent, but it's a coward's tactic. They could have very easily denied the Nazis in their request for a permit based on past violence and potential for future violence. They didn't. And a young woman is dead because of it. They get no pass from me on that. They share responsibility in her death.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:36 PM

16. They aren't defending the Charlottesville groups against anything but 1st amendment rights...

Not on criminal charges, violence, etc.

Of course I don't like that they get involved at all, but I understand why and no, they are not defending these groups "right" to violence. ACLU has nothing to do with permitting process. I don't follow your comments on why you think ACLU "should have denied their permits"....???

As in the famous Skokie case, they defend right of assembly.

Once again, I don't like that they do, but I understand the rationale.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:38 PM

17. Please, they are and were just using "free speech" as a cover for violence

And any idiot can see that.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:41 PM

18. ACLU IS NOT defending violence. As you say, any idiot can also see that the right of assembly was

not based on any crystal ball knowledge of intent. Yes, we know what was likely to occur and likely so do local authorities (and ACLU), but fore-suspicion is not foreknowledge of intent in legal context.

Do I think prior-history and internet documentation of "probable intent" should have been used by local authorities to deny permits? YES, absolutely.But, courts don't take all of that into account, offering benefit of doubt in many such cases.

Do I wish ACLU had not defended their right to assemble under 1st amendment protections. Yes. But, I'm damned glad ACLU is there to push back on all the civil rights violations of Trump et al. One of the few lasting institutions, it seems in this regard.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:55 PM

19. You don't need a crystal ball of intent for these people

You just have to watch what they've done at almost every rally they've ever held. And to pretend otherwise is the equivalent of covering your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears, and singing, "LA LA LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:00 PM

20. Using putlic impressions of fact even that we can all agree on, does not rise to the level of legal

proof. No matter how much we might wish it so. I know it offends you, as it has progressives and civil rights defenders like me--all the way back to that infamous 197Skokie, Il Neo-Nazi case--but there is reason for it in a constitutional democracy.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:04 PM

21. Who cares?

The ACLU does not need to rise to the level of legal proof. They are not a court or the government. They have discretion over who they choose to represent. Learn to exercise it.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:09 PM

22. Because they are in business of defending civil rights IN COURT CHALLENGES. Do you not get that?

TO protect all of our civil rights in a constitutional democracy, sometimes groups like ACLU have to defend those who don't deserve it. That, is something that may upset us, but in the big picture, we need to realize its necessity.

Perhaps you would benefit from conversing directly with ACLU on your concerns. I've noted they are pretty darned responsive in doing so.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:21 PM

23. Oh believe me, I let my concerns be known

And they responded with pretty much the same horseshit you are responding with.

Yes, I get the part about defending civil rights in court challenges. And nothing is forcing them to take up a court challenge for a bunch of people that any idiot could see were going to cause violence. They were not forced to sue the city of Charlottesville for denying the Nazis a permit. They chose to do that.The city denied them a permit because they could see the potential for violence. ACLU chose to shove its collective head up its ass and preach a bunch of bullshit about how "free speech demands that we tolerate blah, blah, blah."

It was bullshit then and it's bullshit now. And a young woman is dead. And that is the ACLU's fault. Do you get that?

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:23 PM

24. Accusing me of spreading "horseshit" when I have been very polite trying to answer your concerns?

I'm done with you.

ACLU did not murder Heather Heyer and I sure as hell did not either.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:29 PM

25. I never said you did

I said that Heather Heyer would be alive if the ACLU hadn't gone to bat for the Nazis. And she would be. And no amount of denial from you or them is going to change that, no matter how much you wish it would.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #25)


Response to hlthe2b (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:37 PM

27. You think I don't know the ACLU's justification for their position?

Believe me, I'm all too aware of it, so if you don't agree with them, you can stop wasting all of our time and give it up. I'm well aware of what their reasoning is. I just find it to be complete horseshit when dealing with people who you already know are going to commit violence, burden of legal proof or no legal proof. Be a responsible human being and don't feed into hate and violence.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #27)


Response to hlthe2b (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:51 PM

32. Oh Jesus Christ. You are hopeless.

I was directing that at the ACLU. By all means, show your ridiculous screenshot to whoever you want. LOL.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #32)


Response to hlthe2b (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:55 PM

34. Um, nope.

Your inability to understand is not my problem.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:57 PM

35. Enjoy conversing to yourself .

I will self-delete my discourse with you, because your rudeness is certainly not worth my time.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 06:00 PM

36. This is the second time you've said that

Make sure you stick to it this time.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:58 PM

5. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what the proposed regulations say. Please see this:

Betsy DeVos set to bolster rights of accused in rewrite of sexual assault rules

By Laura Meckler
Reporter covering national education policy and trends, and the Education Department
November 14
....

The most significant change would guarantee the accused the right to cross-examine their accusers, though that would have to be conducted by advisers or attorneys for the people involved, rather than by the person accused of misconduct. If requested, the parties could be in separate rooms during the cross-examination, an administration official said. They said this was done to bolster the due-process rights of the accused while assuring that victims are not directly confronted by their assailants.

The Obama guidelines had strongly discouraged the use of direct cross-examination. The earlier DeVos draft allowed cross-examination but did not require schools to offer it as an option.
....

Laura Meckler is a national education writer covering national trends, federal policy and the Education Department. She came to The Washington Post from the Wall Street Journal, where her beats included presidential politics, the White House, health care, immigration and demographics. Follow https://twitter.com/laurameckler

Here's a pretty-much final draft of the proposed regulation:

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/title-ix-nprm.pdf

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:59 PM

6. I am fully aware as I have the actual text and I totally agree with ACLU, with whom I have had

contact on this.


Any one that buys into DeVos's spin on this is sentencing lots of young women to a very uncertain future at our nation's colleges and universities. There is a REASON that the Obama admin worked so hard to write the new regs as they are (and which DeVos-Trump want to dismantle--no surprise given the serial assaulter Trump's views on this).

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:00 PM

7. Is the WaPo writer's interpretation wrong?

Seriously. I don't know.

Thanks.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:03 PM

8. It is being non-questioning of the intent and loopholes DeVos is building in...

and naive' (or purposefully blind) to the intent behind it. ACLU knows the score.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:03 PM

9. Full disclosure: I am not in the Betsy DeVos Fan Club. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:09 PM

10. I wouldn't have expected you would be. I think there is concerted effort to confuse on this.

and while everyone believes in "due process", that term is being used to mask efforts to stack the deck against (mostly) women bringing assault accusations/charges. Even more to the point, DeVos wants to make it easier for universities administration (including for profit groups) to deal with these "pesky" situations and avoid potential litigation themselves.

Not surprising given DeVos' own personal profit and long supoort of for-profit education--hell her deputy is a former lead for the now defunct DeVry University.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 07:05 PM

37. And I'm glad they do

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Response to Loki Liesmith (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 08:08 PM

38. I dare you to say that to Heather Heyer's mom.

Or any Holocaust survivor.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 03:51 PM

3. My take is that they are against Betsy DeVos'

They are against her making it easier for campus rapists.

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Response to Beakybird (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:27 PM

14. Right.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:26 PM

13. 'But the ACLU opposes the new rules for campuses.

“Today Secretary DeVos proposed a rule that would tip the scales against those who raise their voices. We strongly oppose it,” the organization stated on Twitter. “The proposed rule would make schools less safe for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, when there is already alarmingly high rates of campus sexual assaults and harassment that go unreported. It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused and letting schools ignore their responsibility under Title IX to respond promptly and fairly to complaints of sexual violence. We will continue to support survivors.”'

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 04:30 PM

15. Bad headline, ACLU does NOT decline to defend civil rights.

'But the ACLU opposes the new rules for campuses.

“Today Secretary DeVos proposed a rule that would tip the scales against those who raise their voices. We strongly oppose it,” the organization stated on Twitter. “The proposed rule would make schools less safe for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, when there is already alarmingly high rates of campus sexual assaults and harassment that go unreported. It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused and letting schools ignore their responsibility under Title IX to respond promptly and fairly to complaints of sexual violence. We will continue to support survivors.”'

NOT 'jeeves' fault, more like the Atlantic.

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Response to elleng (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:44 PM

29. Thank you for clarifying the ACLU's position.

The headline is bullshit.

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Response to SharonClark (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:48 PM

30. You're welcome.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 05:43 PM

28. A bad headline.

ACLU has it right here: it’s Davos’ proposed changes that are bad.

It’s trying to be way more restrictive of what campus’ will consider sexual harassment and assault and making it easier for institutions to ignore victims claims.

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