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Opinion: Missouri Conservatives Should Unite Behind Campus Due Process

   

As Speaker of the House, my colleagues and I spent session after session combatting bad policies from the Obama Administration. We fought against Obamacare, efforts to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights, countless affronts to job creators and battled for the right to life. Time after time, we stood up for the rights of Missourians. Now, the Missouri legislature is fighting yet another, awful vestige of the Obama Administration. The campus due process bills before the Missouri General Assembly would protect students’ rights at our public and private universities from Obama era policies that denied those rights.

As expected, leftwing editorial boards have partnered with liberal colleges and universities to fight these common-sense campus due process reforms. They have called for delay. They have outright lied about the measures. They have questioned motives. And they have attacked due process supporters.

Jones

Why? They know they are wrong. These bills would restore due process rights that the Obama Administration denied students. Under the Obama guidance, students on public and private college campuses have been denied the right to effective legal counsel, the right to view evidence, know the accusations against them or even cross-examine witnesses. These protections are fundamental to our country and our legal system and have been enshrined in the US Constitution since our nation’s founding. But because of the reckless guidance from the Obama Administration, these campuses continue this unconscionable practice.

Now, as Missouri’s legislature considers reversing these dangerous policies, and following the lead of the Trump Administration, colleges and universities are throwing a fit. These schools “claim” they will follow the Trump Administration rules but, so far, they have largely ignored the Trump Administration’s guidance instead continuing to follow Obama-era rules. The Missouri legislature, who appropriates millions of dollars each year to public and private universities, must send a message that student rights must be protected and respected.

The Missouri legislature should not be fooled by the campaign of delay, distract and deceive. These liberal campuses will never restore due process rights until and unless the legislature acts. If they will not follow the guidance from the Trump White House, they will not follow the rules whenever they are finalized. Do not allow liberal campus bureaucracies to wait out the Trump Administration in their continued effort to deny Constitutional rights of due process.

Students’ rights should not be denied simply because they enter a public or private college campus. Our rights extend wherever we are in our nation, yes, even on college and university campuses. It is time to restore the Constitutional, due process rights of college and university students, wherever they may be pursuing their educational degrees in our United States of America.

Tim Jones is the former Speaker of the Missouri House and the current Chief Communications Officer at the First Rule Media Network. First Rule represents the Missouri Campus Due Process Coalition.