Feds distance themselves from college campus speech restrictions

rap picFree speech and due process guaranteed by the First and Fifth Amendments remains intact on college campuses as federal officials have backed away from implementing the “blueprint” for campus speech restrictions issued by the Departments of Education (DOE) and Justice (DOJ) in May.

The guidelines on campus speech restrictions were developed after the DOE and DOJ carried out a joint investigation into allegations of sexual assault that occurred at the University of Montana.

“The investigation found that six football players were accused of aiding, attempting or committing sexual assault from spring 2009 to spring 2012 and that three of the players weren’t prosecuted through the campus judicial system for more than a year after their coach was notified that the victim had filed a complaint with the Missoula Police Department,” the Huffington Post reported in May. 

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the agencies’ settlement with the University of Montana “sought to impose new, unconstitutional speech restrictions, due-process abuses, and an overbroad definition of sexual harassment and proclaimed the agreement to be ‘a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country’.”

“It even provides that students accused of sexual harassment may be punished before the investigation is complete, lending a true ‘Alice in Wonderland’ quality to the whole endeavor. As the Queen of Hearts said: ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards!’,” wrote FIRE’s Senior Vice President Robert Shipley in an op-ed for the Daily Caller.

While the agencies originally tried to foist the ‘blueprint’ on campuses across the country, FIRE reported that “recent actions from OCR [DOE's Office of Civil Rights] further suggest that the worst features of the Montana settlement are not being required of public colleges, indicating that OCR no longer regards the controversial components of its May agreement as a blueprint for all colleges.”

Among these indicative actions was a letter sent to FIRE last week by Catherine Lhamon, head of OCR, saying “the agreement in the Montana case represents the resolution of that particular case and not OCR or DOJ policy.”

“Assistant Secretary Lhamon’s clear statement that the Montana agreement does not represent OCR or DOJ policy—meaning it’s not much of a ‘blueprint’—should come as a great relief to those who care about free speech and due process on our nation’s campuses,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff.

Comments

Polititainment

Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

Galifianakis gives Obama a nickname
Zach Galifianakis once came up with a very special nickname for President Obama, he recounted on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night. It all started when Galifianakis came to the White House to film the Emmy-winning “Between Two Ferns” episode to promote Obamacare. “Before we went to interview the president, I ate in the White House […]
Stewart covers atrocious Dem candidate

In New York’s 11th Congressional district, Democrats need to defeat Rep. Michael G. Grimm, who is facing 20 federal charges and was once caught on camera threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony. So you might think this race would be a walk in the park for them—until you meet their incredibly terrible candidate.

Colbert hates the midterms

There are a lot of tedious things Colbert doesn’t like to do in the autumn, like clean the gutters and pretend to like decorative gourds.

White House

Obama names Ron Klain the Ebola ‘czar’ as precautions expand

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama turned to a trusted adviser to lead the nation's Ebola response on Friday as efforts to clamp down on any possible route of infection from three Texas cases expanded, reaching a cruise ship at sea and multiple airline flights.

Barack Obama’s credit card gets declined, leaving Michelle with the bill

Even being the president of the United States does not save you from everyone’s nightmare: the shame of having your credit card declined in public.

Christie’s daughter groans at the idea of her dad running for president

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) kids aren’t all on board with his possible run for the White House.

Obama authorizes Guard, reserve call-up for Ebola
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is authorizing the Pentagon to call up reserve and National Guard troops if they are needed to assist in the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The U.S. has already committed to sending up to 4,000 military personnel to West Africa to provide logistics and help build treatment […]
Obama calls for ‘much more aggressive’ response to Ebola
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is ramping up its response to the Ebola crisis after a second Dallas nurse became ill and it was disclosed that she had been cleared to fly a day before her diagnosis. While Ebola patients are not considered contagious until they have symptoms and only two persons have been known to contract the […]

Congress

Rand Paul: W.H. hasn’t accurately described Ebola
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Bloomberg politics he believes that the White House has been inaccurately depicting the risks of contracting Ebola. “I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us,” said Paul. “They’ve so wanted to downplay this that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their […]
Rand Paul doesn't want to 'turnip for what'
Sorry Michelle. It doesn’t look like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to “turnip for what.” Paul let the first lady know about his first stop in New Hampshire Thursday on Twitter. The likely presidential hopeful went from the plane to the Dunkin’ Donuts and snapped a photo. Just arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire. First stop: @DunkinDonuts cc: […]
Americans could face $15B in new internet taxes
If Senate Democrats don’t take up the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act before the end of the year, American internet users could be looking at nearly $15 billion in additional taxes, a new study found. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, passed during the 1990s, prevents state and local governments from taxing people for access to the […]
Rand Paul talks with NAACP in Ferguson
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) met with black leaders in Missouri Friday and urged them to use the “ballot box” not riots in the street to try and make a change. Paul headed to Ferguson, the location of another police shooting, for a 45-minute “listening session” with a group of 20 local black leaders, including pastors, local business […]
Congress: Stop travel between US and Ebola nations

Congress is getting vocal about the Ebola threat.