The Obama Presidency offered no shortage of bad ideas. Attacks on our rural values, job creators, farmers and families were all too common. Among the flurry of misguided policies, the Obama “guidance” on campus Title IX misconduct investigations received minimal attention compared to many of the other disastrous policies.
Here’s what it did: it eliminated due process rights for students accused of misconduct. Under the Obama rules, the accused have been too often presumed guilty and if not, their rights are ignored in the process. In fact, under the Obama rules, students at our colleges have no right to be represented by an attorney, know the accusations that have been made against them, view evidence or cross-examine witnesses. These policies are unconstitutional, un-American and unconscionable.
That is why, both the Trump Administration and the conservative leadership of the Missouri legislature have been working to repeal these disastrous policies and restore due process rights on college campuses. Under our Constitution, we are presumed innocent and we have a right to representation. But these rights were trampled by the Obama Administration, particularly in campus misconduct investigations.
As a result of these attacks on Constitutional due process, hundreds of students all across the country have sued colleges and universities for denying their due process rights in these Title IX proceedings. Huge legal bills and even bigger settlements have been paid by public and private universities for denying due process. In many states, taxpayers are stuck with paying the bill. In Missouri, where our state provides millions to public and private colleges, we could be forced to bailout college settlements and lawsuits with taxpayer money. That is why we must act now.
While many colleges, universities and liberal groups like Planned Parenthood have come out in opposition of restoring due process, Missouri conservatives are united in support of these important measures. The liberal opponents have called on the legislature to wait until federal rules are finalized before acting. But we all know that the obstructionist liberals in Washington D.C. will stop and nothing to block the Trump agenda at every turn. We cannot let them.
The Election of President Trump helped end many disastrous policies but there is more that must be done. I’m proud to join President Trump and conservative colleagues in support of restoring campus due process at Missouri’s public and private universities. By restoring Camus due process, we can join President Trump in ending, yet another unconstitutional policy of the Obama Administration.
Jeff Shawan is a state representative for the 153rd district.