Thursday 21st February 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Is Due Process An Outdated Concept?

December 3, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By MIKE MANNO

It hasn’t been that long ago that we should have already forgotten the lessons learned from the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation. The judge, having a heretofore sterling reputation, was assailed from the left as some type of sexual predator. It was claimed that as a teenager he had groped a young student, although the accuser could not remember exactly when, or where, or if the groping might have been from another man.
But she was sure it happened. There followed a litany of other accusations that the judge had arranged for everything from the gang raping of coeds to spiking punch bowls. And all through the judge’s ordeal, there were those who claimed that “accusers” must always be believed.
One, Sen. Mazie Hirono (of “men should shut up” fame), declared that Judge Kavanaugh didn’t deserve the presumption of innocence because she disagreed with his judicial philosophy. That U.S. senator from Hawaii even suggested that the very principle of “innocent until proven guilty” should not apply in sexual assault cases.
Accusers, of course, must be believed. Thus, there is a presumption of guilt, not of innocence.
Unfortunately, this does not happen in just high-profile cases. Over the years my old radio program was inundated with press releases from campus reform groups pointing out that men accused of sexual harassment or assault would often be prejudged by college administrators as “guilty,” who would then hand down punishments that would range from suspension to expulsion. The typical case involved an “investigator” from the diversity office who would conduct an interview — oftentimes with only the accuser — and who would then render the preordained judgment of guilt.
There were no objective standards. In fact, there was no uniform definition of what sexual assault or harassment was. To one person it might be that after a party and too many drinks she might have become a bit hazy and something must have happened because her blouse was unbuttoned. To another it was an “evil” suggestion to which she may or may not have given consent. And yet to another, she could have been offended by “that look” that men on the make give to women they desire.
Of course, accusers must always be believed.
I think most people remember the Duke Lacrosse case. In case you missed it (it was in all the newspapers), it was about a party the Duke University Lacrosse team threw. The young men running the party hired two “dancers” to perform at a bachelor-type party. After the party, one of the dancers claimed to have been raped by several of the lacrosse players.
Since the players were white and the dancers were of mixed race, the left immediately jumped on the dancer’s bandwagon to denounce the players. School officials and professors demanded that the dancer be avenged. Jesse Jackson, of the Rainbow Coloration, offered to pay for the dancer’s college even if her story was untrue. Within a year the dancer’s story had fallen apart, the other dancer contradicted her account, there were problems with the “evidence” adduced, and finally the state attorney general threw out the case finding that the “rape” was a hoax.
The district attorney, who pursued the case for largely political reasons, lost his job, was disbarred, and ultimately convicted of contempt of court.
But, of course, the accuser had to be believed. The campus community, including the professors who had chastised the players, did not retract their comments. In fact, one of the professors called the players “hooligans and rapists” and told one of the mothers she “was the mother of a farm animal.” The students were forced to leave Duke, and the lacrosse coach was fired.
Because of cases like this, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed a set of rules for colleges receiving federal funds. Under procedures now in place, a single school administrator could investigate a claim, bring charges against a student (or staff member), and decide guilt. The accused might even be denied the ability to review the evidence against him. Secretary DeVos’ proposed rules are fairly simple and common sense and address the problem of inconsistent procedures from school to school and case to case.
First, it would define sexual harassment under Title IX, not as some amorphous concept as it is now, but as “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity,” or an assault that is already a defined criminal act. It also requires schools to respond “meaningfully” to every report of sexual harassment.
Second, it would require schools to apply basic due process protections for students and staff. No longer could a student automatically be assumed guilty or the accuser automatically be deemed truthful. The presumption of innocence would be accorded the accused, who would be given a written notice of the allegations and an opportunity to review all evidence collected.
You would be surprised how many cases were reported to me in which the accused was never given a written statement of charges or opportunity to review the evidence. Of course, the elites among us don’t need to do such things since they are, by definition, wiser and fairer than the rest of us mere mortals.
Third, it would give the accused the right to a hearing where his advocate or attorney – but not the accused himself – would be able to ask questions of the accuser, subject to any rape shield protections. The hearing would be conducted by a neutral party and not by the school’s investigator.
Finally, it would impose a uniform standard of proof. Currently, most schools use what is known as a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. It is the standard used in most civil cases and it simply means “more probable than not.” The standard DeVos is recommending is “clear and convincing,” which is a medium level of proof, higher than the preponderance standard, but less rigorous than the criminal standard, “beyond reasonable doubt.”
Remember, a finding of guilt in these proceedings has serious ramifications to the accused, including expulsion, or in the case of a staff member or professor, the loss of a job and possibly a career. These are not trivial matters or civil misdemeanors. They clearly have the ability to affect the accused for life and the new evidentiary standard reflects the seriousness of the matter and the serious ramifications for the accused.
Of course these proposed rules don’t fit with the left’s view of the world. I wrote two weeks ago (“Political Correctness and the Culture of Death,” November 22) about the Cultural Marxists who tend to view the world through their own prism. Thus, favored groups are to be given more deference than disfavored ones. Women are a favored group and men, especially white men, are disfavored. Thus the presumption of innocence and due process are not called for in these instances.
No, sir, they are not because they only seek to promote male hegemony, especially white male hegemony.
So, naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), once a fighter for due process, now opposes the proposed rules because they give too much deference to the accused! It claims that the proposed rules would “roll back civil rights protections for students.” The ACLU claims that the proposed “clear and convincing” standard weights the findings against the accuser and the more relaxed standard of “preponderance” should be used.
The ACLU also claims that by limiting the definition of sexual harassment the proposed rule will “harm already vulnerable students.” Of course, that is how the law works: An activity is proscribed and violators are punished. Persons should not be subject to punishment for activities that are deemed punishable only after the fact. To do so will allow charges to be brought for ex post facto violations of undefined rules or fluctuating concepts against unsuspecting “disfavored” students who may or may not understand exactly what they are accused of doing.
The ACLU doesn’t say it in so many words, but it appears that it is willing to jettison the presumption of innocence rule. Of course all of these things the ACLU defends in the criminal context, but not in the matter of sexual misbehavior claims on college campuses or other venues. But, of course, the mantra of the left is that the accuser must always be believed.
And the ACLU is joined by many voices of the progressive left, who apparently see the “rule of law” through a different lens than we have historically viewed it. Included in the criticism are Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Patty Murray who charges the rules are the latest attempt by the Trump administration to “attack and undermine women, their health care, their rights, and their well-being.” Cong. Bobby Scott called it a “damaging setback” for sexual assault victims; Cong. Maxine Waters said the rule would put an end to civil rights protections for students.
And Cong. Joe Kennedy, who apparently didn’t read the rule, incorrectly claimed the rules would let accused students themselves cross-examine their accusers.
The bottom line here is the question of how do we handle accusations of sexual harassment. Do we embrace the law in its current form, with all its due process protections, or do we opt for the new left’s approach which eliminates many of those protections? And if we move in the left’s direction, how long before the new standards are expanded to include other transgressions by other disfavored group members? Do you, as I do, see this as an encroachment on our constitutional civil liberties — a slippery slope, if you will? And to what end?
The proposed rule was announced November 16. It will be adopted, modified, or rejected after a 60-day comment period. Comments may be sent to: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, DC, 20202, or through the department’s website, https://www.ed.gov/.
(You can contact Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Pope picks liberal cardinals Cupich, Marx, Tagle for featured talks at Vatican Abuse Summit

ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors…Continue Reading

SD BISHOP CALLS CATHOLIC GROUP ‘EVIL’ FOR OPPOSING CARDINAL CUPICH

RAPID CITY, S.D. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A bishop is calling a Catholic apostolate “evil” for being critical of Cdl. Blase Cupich. Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota issued a statement to be read from all parish pulpits the weekend of Feb. 9–10 condemning…Continue Reading

The Christian Faith: The only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to…Continue Reading

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s liberal wing in blocking Louisiana abortion law

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s liberal wing on Thursday in temporarily blocking a Louisiana law that would have placed restrictions on abortion clinics, in the high court’s first major ruling on abortion since the confirmation of Associate Justice…Continue Reading

Supermodel Takes On Catholic Poland With Sex Education Campaign

Supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country. After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of…Continue Reading

Cardinals endorse campaign to stop homosexual networks in Church

February 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller – the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – commented on a recently launched campaign to Stop homosexual networks in the Catholic Church as organized by the Swiss organization…Continue Reading

Back on Twitter, Bishop Tobin rebukes Catholic pols who support abortion rights

PROVIDENCE — After a months-long hiatus, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence has returned to Twitter to pointedly remind Rhode Island’s Catholic legislators — and the state’s Catholic governor — of his “track record on dealing with pro-abort…Continue Reading

US bishop rebukes Virginia Governor for ‘staggering’ infanticide remarks

ARLINGTON, Virginia, January 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The staunchly pro-lifeCatholic Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, has strongly rebuked pro-infanticidecomments made earlier this week by Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. Bishop Michael Burbidge today called Northam’s comments a “staggering admission” that reveals just “how far abortion…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: ‘We must provide sex education in schools’

ROME, January 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis is advocating sex education in schools, saying he believes children “must” be taught “objective” lessons about human sexuality that aren’t “soaked with ideological colonization.” During an inflight press conference on his return…Continue Reading

Trump blasts Virginia Democrats for defending infanticide

January 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump lambasted Virginia Democrats for supporting abortion up until, during, and even after birth, calling Delegate Kathy Tran’s comments on her bill permitting abortion even as a woman goes into labor “terrible.” Virginia…Continue Reading

Catholic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Vows to Sign Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is pushing a radical pro-abortion bill in her state while claiming to be Catholic. The legislation, which contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church, would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth. A…Continue Reading

Undiscovering Columbus: Notre Dame President Puts Explorer Under Wraps

The University of Notre Dame has capitulated to several left-of-center causes and ideologies that threaten its reputation as the premier Roman Catholic college in the nation. The most recent submission to contemporary ideologies is the decision to cover the murals…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Dubia cardinals to bishops at Vatican abuse summit: ‘Will you also be silent?’

Cburke3

VATICAN, February 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the two remaining dubia cardinals, wrote an open letter to the Presidents of the worldwide Bishops’ Conferences meeting in the Vatican for the Summit on sexual abuse. “The plague of the homosexual agenda has been spread within the Church,” they write, “promoted by organized networks and protected by a climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence.” The Church hierarchy, however, wishes…Continue Reading

Vatican sex abuse cover-up unravels as prosecutors home in on bishop protected by Pope Francis

February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Argentinean prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation for alleged sexual abuse against a bishop and close personal friend appointed and protected by Pope Francis, according to the attorney general’s office of the province of Salta, Argentina. The target of the investigation is Gustavo Zanchetta, who was named bishop of the diocese of Orán by Pope Francis in 2013. Zanchetta suddenly fled his diocese and resigned from his office in July…Continue Reading

McCarrick laicized by Pope Francis

mckarick

Vatican City, Feb 16, 2019 / 01:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered this week the laicization of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, and a once powerful figure in ecclesiastical, diplomatic, and political circles in the U.S. and around the world. The decision followed an administrative penal process conducted by the CDF, which found McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament…Continue Reading

Daleiden decries gov’t ‘collusion’ with Planned Parenthood in body parts case

SAN FRANCISCO, California, February 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life advocate David Daleiden decried what he said was “collusion” that he witnessed happening in court yesterday between California’s deputy attorney general and abortion organizations.

Bishop Schneider: Abuse summit will be ‘doomed’ if it doesn’t address homosexuality

KAZAKHSTAN, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan said that the upcoming Vatican abuse summit is “doomed to failure” if the “predominant role” of homosexuality in the crisis is not addressed. “If the upcoming Summit on Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Vatican will not address the issue of the moral relativism and the non-belief in the perennial validity of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue as the deepest cause of clerical…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Supreme Court . . . Blocks Law Regulating Louisiana Abortion Doctors

By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — The Supreme Court has blocked from taking effect a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to hold admitting privileges at hospitals nearby to abortion clinics. The court issued a stay on Thursday evening, February 7. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court granted a temporary stay blocking the law…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Exhumation Of The Equal Rights Amendment

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is a professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the…Continue Reading

God Counts The Tears Of Women

By DONALD DeMARCO The Talmud states that God counts the tears of women. This is a beautiful statement and underscores the compassion that God has for all women. Moreover, it is a compassion that should be shared by men, for the same text warns men that “they do not cause their wives pain.” Rabbi Chaim…Continue Reading

Abortion And The Green New Deal… De-Developing And Dehumanizing The United States

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate — www.creators.com — distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + Do you know who said the following? “If you further decided to buy a small car that would last 30 years, be easily repairable and…Continue Reading

Has Trump Found The Formula For 2020?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN (Editor’s Note: This column was released February 8, before further developments in Virginia.) + + + His State of the Union address, say the two networks, met with the approval of 76 percent of all viewers — 97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Democrats. Seventy-two…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Cardinal Mueller Issues Manifesto . . . A Quasi Correction Of Pope Francis’ Pontificate

By JOHN-HENRY WESTEN and MAIKE HICKSON (LifeSiteNews) — Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, has released a Manifesto which reads like a correction of many of the doctrinal errors Pope Francis has taught during his tenure as Pope. The cardinal intended to release the manifesto on February 10. That date is the eve of the…Continue Reading

Be Like God And Love Your Enemies

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 1 Cor. 15:45-49 Luke 6:27-38 In the second reading today St. Paul teaches there are two Adams, the first Adam is of Earth, the second, Jesus, is from Heaven. St. Paul points out that the natural came first, then the spiritual, so…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Men Are Not Women” And Other Inconvenient Facts

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Of course men are not women, you might respond — it’s a matter of fact. You can certainly say that for yourself if you so choose, but you cannot say it for everyone. Not anymore. The politically correct absconding from the use of reason is exploding into a political and social lobby of ever-increasing proportions.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Some words of wisdom from Fr. George Rutler in the parish bulletin of The Church of St. Michael in New York City: “The other day, intemperate journalists accused youths from a Catholic high school in Covington, Ky., of making racial threats against an elderly Native American during the March for Life. Videos proved that there was no truth…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen In New Book… Vatican’s China Strategy Was All About Compromise And Surrender

  By MAIKE HICKSON Joseph Cardinal Zen, For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent, Ignatius Press: 2019, www.ignatius.com; paperback, 153 pages. (LifeSiteNews) — Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen has strongly criticized in a new book the Vatican’s recent dealings with China, stating that the “strategy was wrong,” adding that it was “all about compromise and surrender.” He has…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

By CAROLE BRESLIN India has almost as many people (1.37 billion) as China (1.42 billion), which has three times the land area. Of the population of India, under three percent are Christian. In Kerala, a state on the southwest coast of India, nearly 20 percent are Christian. Perhaps the greater proportion is a result of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Jacoba Of Settesoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN Two millennia of Catholicism have produced saints from all walks of life: rich and poor — and the wealthy who became poor, such as St. Francis of Assisi who renounced his inheritance, St. Anthony of Egypt who gave his wealth away, and St. Thomas Aquinas who became a poor monk. There have also been those who lived…Continue Reading