The following op-ed by Committee for Justice president Curt Levey was published in Fox News:
In the wake of Tara Reade's allegation that former Vice President Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when he was a senator in 1993 – an allegation that Biden strongly denies – he and his supporters have finally got it right when it comes to assessing claims of sexual assault.
Significantly, the position Biden now holds is based on the same philosophy behind the U.S. Education Department regulations released Wednesday that will govern how institutions of higher education and K-12 schools handle students' accusations of sexual misconduct.
Biden and his backers now say that when a sexual misconduct allegation is made, the accuser needs to be heard and respected. But importantly, the accuser’s claims need to be subject to rigorous investigation free of any presumption of guilt. After all, our entire justice system is based on the principle that anyone accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The purpose of the new Education Department rules – issued under the authority of the federal anti-discrimination statute known as Title IX – is to ensure that "every survivor of sexual violence must be taken seriously, and every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined," Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said.
In order to ensure that guilt is not predetermined, the rules guarantee due process for accused students – something that was sorely lacking under the Obama administration's 2011 guidance on the same topic.
The new due process requirements for universities include: the presumption of innocence; written notice of the allegations; an opportunity for the accuser and accused to review the evidence; a live hearing; an impartial decision-maker; and the right of the accused and accuser to each be represented by an adviser who can cross-examine and challenge evidence, subject to the typical "rape shield" exceptions...
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