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A Biden administration spells more controversy about Title IX, the federal equal access law that bans sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, but now used to address sexual misconduct — including allegations of criminal conduct like sexual assault and rape (variously defined). The theory is that such behaviors threaten access to education.

Democrats want to seem tough on sexual assault, of course, and Title IX is the tool, even as Joe Biden has dodged Tara Reade’s accusations that he once sexually assaulted her and has pledged to reverse former Title IX regulations put in place by President Barack Obama.

Almost every educational institution now has a Title IX office. Last year the National Association of Scholars visited a number of them, documented in a recently released report, “Dear Colleague.” It presents conversations with staff and analyses of institutional policies on discrimination and sexual harassment at six state universities.

It’s safe to say that Title IX is now unrecognizable as an equal access law in education. Instead, it is a sex monitoring and sex promotion law with the staff especially focused on (and arguably happy about) student sexual encounters gone bad, as their chance to meddle.

Office waiting areas featured pamphlets from Planned Parenthood, among others, with quotes like, “I didn’t want it to happen,” “I haven’t been hit…” and bowls of condoms with flyers explaining, “What is a flavored condom used for? If something is flavored, it’s meant to be tasted!” Partner offices include student health centers, many with counselors who explain matter-of-factly, “here, we’re all about student autonomy and pleasure, whether you’re a person with a penis or a vagina.”

Staffers who deal with Title IX are primarily comprised of females, most with degrees in women’s studies or gender-based violence. What’s more, of the 52 officials surveyed, only one had any actual courtroom experience where allegations of serious wrongdoing are routine. Yet one Title IX coordinator confirmed that most of her time is spent processing just such allegations of sexual misconduct. Unsurprisingly, students now call Title IX “the campus sex police.”

Students also say that the Title IX office violates the law in its rush to seek, find, and punish sex offenders. Accused students report that “fabricated evidence was withheld from me until the very last minute,” and that staff is trained to “presume guilt” in violation of due process basics. Some 600 students have sued their schools claiming that campus Title IX proceedings are, in essence, kangaroo courts.

To the credit of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, she tackled this sticky wicket — not with informal guidance, as prior administrations had done, but with formal regulations according to the Administrative Procedure Act. This effort took three years and involved over 125,000 public comments. It culminated in the Title IX Final Rule, issued in May 2020, whose provisions turned out to be quite common sense and, in real courtrooms, would be every-day fare.

They require schools to presume innocence, for example, and to disclose all evidence and to allow live cross-examination through student representatives. Furthermore, if requested, these cross-examinations can take place in separate rooms so as to mitigate any trauma that face-to-face questioning might cause. Other supportive measures such as counseling, deadline extensions, and flexibility for schedules, work, and housing are required for all complainants.

Even so, Title IX feminists complained. “DeVos … is protecting attackers from being held accountable!” said one consultant. Indeed, they sued DeVos in federal court, alleging the Final Rule violated the APA, among other things. Such claims were defeated in Maryland and New York but remain pending in DC and Massachusetts.

What now? Chances are that one or both remaining courts will issue opinions on the final rule before a new administration c an take any formal action. But a Biden Education Department may announce its intention to not enforce the rule, or its intention to start the rule-making process all over again to rescind it.

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In any event, the reality is that Title IX practice is now a confused, even dangerous mess. It became so because some people wanted it that way.

For starters, Title IX was enacted as a civil rights law and was never intended to address crimes, especially violent ones such as rape and assault. Additionally, the words “assault” and “rape” have been re-defined at many schools to mean a sexual encounter where one party thought there was consent, but the other claims there wasn’t. Worse, 95 percent of these cases involve alcohol, according to Title IX staff, making both perceptions and memories foggy.

Many schools now have “affirmative consent” policies where explicit, verbal affirmation is to be obtained at every stage of sexual intimacy or the encounter constitutes assault, a standard repeatedly rejected by the American Bar Association. Many such incidents are about misunderstandings, not discrimination, and certainly not criminality. Yet Title IX administration has now effectively branded many students as criminals.

Second, allegations like these are a matter of state criminal law, not a federal law like Title IX, much less a matter of campus administration that varies from school to school. While far from perfect, our criminal justice system represents centuries of balancing the rights of the accused against those of the complainant and the public.

The rights contained in due process, for example, date to the Magna Carta of 1215, ensuring that even lowly subjects (now, citizens) had natural rights that even kings (now, the government) must respect. That Title IX feminists, however, felt free to sweep all this away by creating a parallel, quasi-criminal justice system on campus speaks volumes.

The real, unstated story behind Title IX is the mindset of these feminists. In essence, they’re angry at the biological females are at greater health risk from unmarried sex. Pregnancy is another possibility, of course, that obviously affects females more than males.

Title IX feminists see this reality as inherently unfair and, to their mind, it should be “fixed” by policies that favor women — including the inversion of the centuries-old presumption of innocence in cases of sexual misunderstanding. So what if a few guys get railroaded in the process? It’s a small price to pay back for millennia of imagined injustice inflicted by biological reality.

Of course, anger at reality is a truly foolish and unproductive way to go through life, and no amount of policy is ever going to satisfy or “fix” it. Let’s hope the new Title IX Rule survives and that campus Title IX offices return their focus to equal access in education instead of social engineering between the sexes. Our divided country could use it.

Teresa R. Manning, JD, is Director of the Title IX Project at the National Association of Scholars. She has taught at Scalia Law School of George Mason University, the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College, and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Trump Administration.



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Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

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Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

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Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

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“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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