Boston Globe: Attacks on Betsy DeVos Reveal ‘How Ideological’ the Campus Rape Debate Has Become

Betsy DeVos
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

An editorial from The Boston Globe argues that the intense reaction to Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Secretary of Education, reveals “how ideological and unmoored” the debate on campus rape culture has become.

Boston Globe columnist Dante Ramos argued that the strong reaction from the left to Trump’s nomination of DeVos reveals how irrational the debate on campus rape has become.

You might not like DeVos’s financial conflicts or her family’s record on LGBT issues — I don’t — but the #DearBetsy campaign and the controversy over her FIRE donations show how ideological and unmoored the campus rape debate has become.

Many students accused of sexual assault aren’t given legitimate legal hearings. Rather, schools investigate incidents internally, often times not telling offending students the details of the accusations against them.

In the 2012 handbook, ‘there was no requirement that copies of any ‘substantiating materials’ submitted by the accuser, or the names of any witnesses, be shown or provided to the accused any time,’ wrote Judge F. Dennis Saylor, who reviewed Brandeis’s procedures in connection with a lawsuit in federal court. Saylor went on, ‘The accused had no right to confront or cross-examine the accuser, no right to call witnesses, and no right to confront or cross-examine the accuser’s witnesses. The accused had no right to review all the evidence.’

Ramos points out the simple reason why many, like DeVos, have been interested in ensuring that students accused of rape are given the fair due process proceedings that they deserve. This is so that innocent students aren’t punished for crimes that they didn’t commit.

Campus disciplinary proceedings aren’t court cases, but the underlying principle is the same: Standard rules of evidence and other protections for the accused keep things like false accusations or mistakes by authorities from hurting innocent people.

Sexual assault is a real issue on college campuses. But the best way to protect all students would be to repeal the Obama-era policies that scaled back protections for students accused of sexual assault and replace them with fair due process investigations that protect the rights of both the accuser and the accused.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about social justice and libertarian issues for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at


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