Ilya Shapiro on the Dangers of the April 4 OCR Guidance

By on June 23, 2011

Yesterday over at Cato@Liberty, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies Ilya Shapiro blogged about the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR’s) overreaching April 4 "Dear Colleague" letter, which requires federally funded colleges and universities to use a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e., more likely than not) evidentiary standard when adjudicating claims of sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus. OCR’s guidance adds yet another layer of regulation to the already overregulated campus environment, where protected speech is frequently grounds for punishment.

Among other things, Ilya points to Michael Barone’s excellent article in The Examiner on the subject, reiterating the idea that the only thing to come out of kangaroo courts on campus will be "marsupial justice." We’re very happy to see Cato continue to draw attention to the dangers of the new OCR guidance. The federal government is far more powerful than any individual university administration, so to win this battle it is going to take a strong coalition of liberty-minded people and organizations spreading the word about the grave threat this guidance poses to free speech and due process on campus.

Cases: U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights April 4, 2011, Guidance Letter Reduces Due Process Protections