Opinion: Conservatives agree that Missouri colleges must protect due process

   
Bill Eigel

Time after time, institutions have rushed to judgment and destroyed innocent lives because the pursuit of justice is strangled by the media’s addiction to outrage. This has become an epidemic on college campuses where, in allegations of sexual misconduct, society has turned “innocent until proven guilty” on its’ head. Instead of justice, every claim becomes proof and every accused student has become a convicted criminal.

Under flawed Title IX recommendations from the Obama Administration, the due process rights of Missouri’s college students have been trampled on by our higher education institutions. This dangerous trend is drowning out the voices of actual victims while devastating the futures of innocent youth. Our founders enshrined due process in the Bill of Rights to prevent this very travesty. But our colleges and university are refusing to give students their Constitutional rights.

As a constitutional conservative, their lack of due process protections is a disturbing encroachment on constitutionally guaranteed liberties. As a fiscal conservative, these colleges are exposing our state to incredible legal exposure and our taxpayers to significant financial exposure. By failing to protect due process rights of students, Missouri will soon be liable for lawsuits by students whose rights have been infringed upon, just as has happened in numerous other states.

It’s time for change. The Missouri Senate should pass Senate Bill 259. This common sense measure would simply require testimony to be made under oath, guarantee due process for all parties per the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and, finally, it would guarantee representation by attorney, access to any and all evidence, including testimony by witnesses.

As a member of the Missouri Senate Conservative caucus, I am proud to support this measure to protect the constitutional rights of Missouri students and the interests of Missouri taxpayers. It’s time for Missouri campus due process.