Martha MacCallum interviewed a law professor about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s proposed Title IX changes — aimed at protecting the rights of the accused — during her show on Monday night.
Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, joined MacCallum to discuss the proposed changes and what they would look like if implemented.
“The problem here is that we have been hopelessly divided into team accuser and team accused. And what needs to happen is we all should be on the same team, which is team process — team due process. What we should care about is getting to the truth,” Bazelon began. (RELATED: Alyssa Milano: Take Betsy Devos’s Title IX Proposals ‘And Shove It Up Her –’)
She continued, “Right now, in too many cases, in too many colleges under the current regulations, that is not happening. Because clients like mine are subjected to what essentially amounts to a star chamber where they are not told what they are accused of, they are not given a hearing and they are not given any chance to question the people who are making the accusations. And then subsequently they are expelled and branded rapists.”
“And their life is basically over. I have seen cases where the person goes to their new school that they work hard to get into it and within days they are also ejected from that school because the word has now followed them of what happened at the prior school that they felt they were falsely accused of,” MacCallum responded. “This is the kind of falsehood that is really poisoning this discussion, is it not?”
MacCallum then brought up a tweet from NARAL in which she says the spread fake news. According to their tweet, if the new policy is passed, then alleged sexual assault perpetrators would have the opportunity to cross-examine their victims in a hearing.
A new rule from Betsy DeVos would require universities to allow accused sexual abusers to cross-examine and re-traumatize their victims. This is absolutely sickening. https://t.co/CbHgxiH0wh
— NARAL (@NARAL) November 14, 2018
“Yes. That is not true. So how it would work is that both sides would have the right to cross-examine each other through an adviser. So we are talking about an indirect process that would presumably subject to reasonable limitations. And that is not the only mistruth that is out there. Other organizations have claimed, including the ACLU, that these proceedings are going to favor the accused, which isn’t true,” Bazelon added. “All of the rights, again, are reciprocal and meant to benefit both sides.”