Leading GOP Politicians Oppose Campus Due Process

Mitchell Langbert

In the Weekly Standard, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. describe how the overwhelming majority of GOP senators, governors, and congressmen have failed to support Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's revised regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments. The revisions undo much of the skewness in procedures concerning sexual harassment cases on campus.  

Among the abuses that have occurred, and that some GOP politicians appear to support, are, according to Johnson and Taylor: 

pervasive pro-accuser bias among academic officials; secret training of adjudicators to believe accusers even in the face of discrediting evidence; bans on meaningful cross-examination; concealment of exculpatory evidence; designation of a single bureaucrat as investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury; and numerous other due-process outrages. 

Johnson and Taylor contacted Republican members of the  Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee to gauge their views. Lamar Alexander and Bill Cassidy favor DeVos's proposed changes. None of the other committee members responded to Johnson and Taylor's inquiry.  The Republican senators on the committee who did not respond are as follows:

Michael B. Enzi
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Johnny Isaakson
Senator Rand Paul
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Todd Young
Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator Paul Roberts
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Senator Tim Scott

It is unclear whether the failure of ten Republican senators to respond indicates opposition to the amendments, cowardice, or lack of time and resources.  

A House Republican who has supported the amendments is Virginia Foxx of North Carolina. In contrast, Thomas Kean Jr., a Republican in the New Jersey state senate, is proposing New Jersey regulations that will please left-wing extremists who oppose due process.  Kean aims to preempt federal due process requirements by substituting state-based rules. Republican Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire is also siding with the left.

Perhaps a broader survey of elected Republicans' positions on education reform would be beneficial.  I have been wondering for many years as to why elected Republicans seem to behave in a self-defeating way.  They are unperturbed at universities' functioning ideologically; they have no qualms about funding ideologically imbued cultural studies, social science, and humanities courses that indoctrinate students to be anti-Republican Party activists; they are unconcerned about the failure of universities to validate the efficacy of funds spent with respect to both education and job placement.  

It appears that what is happening is that since left-wingers dominate education lobbies and few Americans who are not part of the lobbies take an interest in education, Republicans respond primarily to left-wing demands.  

That is a self-defeating cynicism because the higher education institutions banish Republican professors and teach students to hate Republicans. It reminds me of the faux quotation from Lenin: The last Republican will vote the dollar to the educationist who teaches the student who buys the rope that hangs him.

What may be needed is a focused lobbying organization that counteracts educationist lobbies that take $200 billion a year in public money out of the economy, much of it amounting to deadweight social loss.  They have overseen a 50-year stagnation in the real hourly wage, questionable job outcomes for the bottom half of the college population, education programs that indoctrinate rather than educate, and administrative bloat. 


Mitchell Langbert is an associate profess of business at Brooklyn College. This article is from his blog on academic and political topics originally published December 12, 2018. 

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