Betsy DeVos Shows Courage In The Face Of The Law

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Stephen Baskerville Professor, Patrick Henry College
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Now that a major political figure has had finally shown the courage to stand up to one of the radical sexual lobby’s myriad “witch hunts” (a term now used even by The New York Times), it is time to turn our attention to challenging and dismantling the others.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, along with Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, has acted where other politicians (not to mention scholars and journalists) ran for cover.  In a major speech on one the most shameful abuses in our politics today, she announced modest steps to reimpose common sense and due process of law to the flagrantly illegal and unconstitutional procedures of the Education Department’s out-of-control Office of Civil Rights – procedures whose sole purpose was to encourage knowingly false criminal accusations against innocent people.  “Due process is the foundation of any system of justice that seeks a fair outcome,” she stated in words that should be unexceptionable.  “Due process either protects everyone, or it protects no one.”

And yes, accusations of “rape” are criminal accusations.  The fact that most university-based accusations do not (yet) result in incarceration means little.  University officials share their corruptly obtained findings with police, and the famous Duke University lacrosse team case demonstrates that criminal charges are real possibility.  Further, injustices against men accused of rape even in the criminal courts, where due process is assumed to prevail, are another story.

Reputable scholars who investigate claims of a “rape epidemic” readily conclude that it is not simply exaggerated but a hoax.  “The rape ‘epidemic’ doesn’t actually exist,” writes Caroline Kitchens of the American Enterprise Institute, who documents how statistics claiming that “one in five women has been sexually assaulted while she’s in college” are concocted.   Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute calls the claims “preposterous.”  “There is no such epidemic,” she states flatly.  “There is simply no reason to concede any factual legitimacy to the rape hysterics.”

The campus rape hoax is only one of a series of witch hunts generated by the radical feminist lobby. Military men are likewise subject to trumped-up accusations of “violence against women” Brian Mitchell, Martin Van Creveld, and others have documented in detail.

Yet even these are not the most serious.  There are numerous other instances where similar accusations against the innocent do result in legal punishments, including incarceration without trial.  Criminal accusations for political purposes are the favorite modus operandi of sexual radicals in areas where the media remain silent.

Despite numerous exposés since the 1980s, knowingly false accusations of child abuse against selected parents for political purposes are still out of control:  Christian parents, homeschooling families, involuntarily divorced fathers, or any parents at all.  Here too we see the politics of accusation, the suspension of due process of law, and the fingerprints of the feminists.  Like the overpaid feminist attorneys whose salaries drain taxpayers’ dollars at the Department of Education and students’ tuition throughout the nation’s state-funded universities, feminist lawyers and social workers launch equally groundless accusations to rationalize the government confiscation of children from their parents.  Also like the university rape accusations, hoax after hoax, horror story after horror story, have made little impact on the juggernaut of fabricated accusations.

Even this only scratches the surface of the injustices perpetrated by professional, taxpayer-funded accusers armed with feminist ideology.  Systematic accusations of “domestic violence” constitute what attorney David Heleniak calls “a due process fiasco”:  Heleniak identifies six separate denials of due process (similar to the rape frenzy): lack of notice, denial of poor defendants to free counsel, denial of right to take depositions, lack of fully evidentiary hearings, improper standard of proof, and denial of trial by jury.  (And there are more.)  Violent assault is of course criminally punishable in every jurisdiction on earth.  But “domestic violence” has nothing to do with violent assault, any more than “campus rape” has anything to do with real rape.  It is another politicized collusion between the feminists and the bar associations, earning enormous salaries by denying due process to innocent Americans who possess no platform to speak in their own defense.  In feminist parlance, “domestic violence” can mean anything from verbal insults to refusing demands for money.  It is virtually never adjudicated with a jury trial, and – most astounding of all – no one is ever acquitted of domestic violence charges.

Its foremost purpose until recently has been to remove involuntarily divorced fathers from their homes and separate them from their children.  But so politically successful have domestic violence accusations become that they are now being redeployed for other dishonest uses.  They now provide a silver bullet to avoid immigrations restrictions, and through the Istanbul Convention, they are being used to rationalize weakening the sovereignty of nations and mandating “gender” fluidity.

Accusations of nonpayment of child support – so-called “deadbeat dads” – constitute are another feminist hoax, where due process protections are non-existent.  Assembly-line hearings often last a minute or two, when men are sentenced to indefinite incarceration.  Many receive no hearing at all but are sentenced (they are always guilty) in an “expedited judicial process.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the accused must prove his innocence against unspecified accusations, without counsel, and without a jury.  Most frighteningly, no public record of the incarcerations exists.

The very idea that a statute advertised to combat “discrimination” and enforced by “civil rights” lawyers (including cabinet- and sub-cabinet-level officials) should be hijacked to launch reckless criminal accusations against innocent American citizens should alert us to how totalitarian the mainstream leftist agenda has become and how easily we allow the wool to be pulled over our eyes by neo-Bolsheviks masquerading as liberals.

Stephen Baskerville is Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and author of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Governmental Power (Angelico, 2017).

Perspective expressed in op-eds are not the views of The Daily Caller.