Women Sue UTK to Deny Due Process Rights

Six women filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday claiming the University of Tennessee has created a student culture that enables sexual assaults

Oh my, this sounds terrible.  What is it that the University of Tennessee did?  Well there is some nebulous and emotionally charged language, but then the article in the Tennessean gets to specifics.

The plaintiffs say that UT’s administrative hearing process, which is utilized by public universities across the state, is unfair because it provides students accused of sexual assault the right to attorneys and to confront their accusers through cross-examination and an evidentiary hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

And there you have it.  Very rarely does a pleading admit the ulterior motives for bringing a suit so clearly.  They simply want men accused of any sort of harassment or assault to be denied any effective means of proving their innocence.  They claim that allowing them to do so creates;

a hostile sexual environment for female students by showing “deliberate indifference and a clearly unreasonable response after a sexual assault that causes a student to endure additional harassment

About the only other specific complaints of any  note mentioned in the article are that some of the kids on campus are allowed to party too much, and that the adjudication process takes too long.  I will not weigh in on the merits of those charges.  But obviously going before a judge and explicitly arguing that those you accuse not be allowed to defend themselves is just crazypants.  It certainly would also serve to cast doubt on the rest of their claims and motivations.  If they have a just grievance of some sort, and they might, they need to de-link it from their political aims or else it just looks like another stunt to advance an agenda.

The article in the Tennessean is poorly written (like my stuff), and the past reporting by the reporter who wrote it has been tendentious at best, so take all of this with a grain of salt until further details come out.  But given the push by the Department of Education to extort universities into giving up due process protections under threat of losing their federal funding I think it is fair to say that multiple efforts are being made on this front.  The DOE has had their wings clipped a bit lately so it is not surprising that other means are being used to achieve the same goal.

Too many cases like these are settled.  I think at least one institution needs to stand up and say that due process rights are non-negotiable.  And certainly the laws in TN are very sound in that regard so UT is on far firmer ground than many other universities.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Often the university administrators want to make the same changes as the people suing and they use the fact there is a lawsuit to get what they want included in a settlement.  In other words the fix is in from the start since both parties want the same thing, but were prevented from getting it by the people’s elected representatives and the law.  This tactic is most often used with the EPA.  But here I think there is at least a chance UT will stand firm on due process portions of the suit.

Update:  The inimitable Maetenloch of Ace of Spades HQ has been kind enough to link to us today and we welcome all of our new visitors!

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  • HealthyAmerican

    “I think at least one institution needs to stand up and say that due process rights are non-negotiable. ”

    There is something disturbing about the fact the suit was not summarily thrown out int he first place.

    • Thatch

      It is too early for that to happen since it was just filed a few days ago. And like any suit of this magnitude there will be other issues involved such as whether UT followed its own procedures in all of these cases.

      But yeah, the judge needs to act early on to indicate that due process protections are not evidence of a hostile environment, but rather the lack of them would be.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Ty in TX ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        You’re right of course, the judge needs to show that the suit was handled in a proper, professional, and Constitutional manner.
        And that is the horrifying irony of this cluster::coughcough::. This joke of a lawsuit is going to be treated better then the men would be if they had their way.

        • Thatch

          Yes, and speaking of irony, what would they do if they won the suit and got the changes they want and then there was an assault case between two women? This is the problem with treating people as members of groups rather than individuals. It is hard to keep your own tribe from falling into the trap you have set for others. The only way to do that is to promote justice rather than social justice.

          Thanks for commenting!

          • Neo

            They would have to find both “guilty” because you have to believe the accuser.

          • Tom Servo

            “what would they do if they won the suit and got the changes they want
            and then there was an assault case between two women?”

            Well, then you would have to go to the Liberal Hierarchy of Victimology.

            A) Black Female trumps all, especially white females.
            B) Gay comes close, although female still tops male here. But Gay male trumps Straight female.
            C) Hispanic trumps white, but not black, but if you can claim that the person is a “white hispanic” for some reason then this card is invalidated.
            D) Black male is tricky; they generally trump all white males and females, UNLESS they have said something anytime that is anathema to the social justice warriors, then they are “race traitors” and will be treated even worse than black men were treated back in the Jim Crow days.

            It is all so complicated that in practice, the decision usually comes down to “Anyone we like can do anything they want to anybody, and anyone we don’t like will be punished with everything you got. And anyone who objects is punished too.”

          • Phil D

            You forgot the “Zeroth Law”. Muslim trumps everything.

          • FromNJ

            I was thinking the same thing. What if a female student was accused of improper sexual conduct by another student, male or female? Would she be hung out to dry with no chance to defend herself like so many male students have?
            It’s bound to happen. I cannot wait to see what the results will be.

          • Joe Dokes

            “…what would they do if they won the suit and got the changes they want and then there was an assault case between two women?”

            They would summarily ignore it.

  • SJT_The Rogue Elf ✓unᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    These snowflakes have no idea of the snowball effect do they? Remove Due process here and it can then be removed anywhere. We live in an Innocent until found Guilty society, not the reverse. It is sacred to our very Criminal Justice system and the reason for it is to prevent gross misuse of the justice system.

    Can’t wait for them to get slapped down and given a very detailed lesson of Due Process.

    • Tom Servo

      They WANT due process removed anywhere, because that is the necessary condition for the dictatorship of the proletariat that they so deeply desire.

      • SJT_The Rogue Elf ✓unᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Vaguely reminded of the kangaroo court from the third Dark Knight movie 😉

  • 5Cats

    It has come to this? One idiotic judge and it will get booted up the line all the way to the Supremes. Hopefully the first judge who hears this case squashes it ASAP.
    AoS lurking moron here!