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

Jay-Z's Cuba trip did not violate law
The U.S. Treasury Department apparently fears the wrath of the Beygency as much as the rest of the world. A U.S. Treasury investigation has found Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s 2013 Cuba trip did not violate sanctions law. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, close friends of the Obamas,  had obtained permission to visit the blacklisted country from the Treasury’s Office […]
'Harry Potter' made youth more liberal
Millennials grew up in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Deciding who was the Hermione, Harry and Ron in your friend group, wishing for the end of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and  knowing that the correct way to say the “leviosa” spell is “levi-OH-sa” was built into the fabric of  our collective childhood. Apparently Harry and friends are […]
Obama once killed a 'SNL' sketch
Presidents, first ladies and all types of political candidates have been both frequent guests and the butt of jokes on “Saturday Night Live.” The Hollywood Reporter published an excerpt Wednesday of the updated edition of the Saturday Night Live oral history, “Live From New York,” written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and it featured a lot of juicy details about […]
Christie defends use of Boss' music

Chris Christie saw The Boss just a week ago, and there's no beef about the guv using his tunes, thank you very much.

Fallon wishes Clinton Happy Birthday

Jimmy Fallon took a second to wish former President Bill Clinton a happy 68th birthday during his episode of   "The Tonight Show" Tuesday. The comedian honored Clinton appropriately by poking fun at him.

White House

Government watchdog says Bergdahl swap was not only illegal, it was doubly illegal

Congress' chief watchdog said that the U.S. prisoner swap involving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl violated two laws in a report issued Thursday.

10 photos of President Obama in his office that will restore your faith in the presidency

Smile already, America. Your commander in chief is in the driver's seat.

Newt Gingrich: Obama’s ‘golf problem’ is that he stinks when he’s not playing it

"If the economy was growing, the border was controlled, the Middle East was stabilizing and there were no outbreaks of violence in the streets of major American cities, no one would comment on the number of golf games President Obama played."

Obama heads back to vacation after unexplained DC trip
THE HILL – President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place. Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, […]
President Obama ‘didn’t know’ the Missouri governor was calling National Guard to Ferguson

As has been the case with so many crises that have faced America during Obama's time in the White House, it appears the president has learned about the Missouri Governor calling the National Guard to Ferguson on the news.

Congress

McConnell’s plan to shut down Obama
POLITICO – Mitch McConnell has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or veto them and risk a government shutdown. In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate […]
See the 'Best of' Pelosi's incoherent babbles
Whether she is spouting off about  “race ha[ving] something to do” with the Republican stance on immigration or charging across the U.S. House floor to call a fellow representative “insignificant,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is known for saying some crazy things. Roll Call has compiled some of Pelosi’s greatest hits from 2014 in a video […]
Voters do not believe Congress deserves reelection
Most Americans do not believe current members of Congress deserve to be reelected, a new poll finds. A Gallup poll released Monday found that only 19 percent of registered voters say most members of Congress deserve to be reelected. This the second lowest figure since Gallup first started asking the question in 1992. People feel more […]
Schock outlines how GOP can attract millennials
Positive messaging, reaching out in person, and uniting the party behind strong economic policies are all ways Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) thinks the Republican party can win over millennial voters. Schock appeared on CNN Friday to talk with conservative commentator S.E. Cupp about winning young voters. As the second-youngest member of the House of Representatives at […]
Rep. Justin Amash defends his bold victory speech
After a bitter primary fight, Rep. Justin Amash (R- Mich.) delivered a bold victory speech in which he skewered his opponent last week. The Congressman has taken plenty of heat for his less-than-gracious words, but Amash is not backing down. Amash wrote an op-ed in the Grand Rapids Press Thursday to defend his statements and to […]