I can’t explain her reasoning, because I am almost certain it is awful beyond belief. But, purely on principle, I agree with the decision. I am certain I will disagree with the implementation (again, see the almost certainly awful beyond belief reasoning).
The reason I agree with principle is because I believe in the principle of defending the rights of the accused, for ALL crimes. Due process is important. It is what makes our justice system approach actual fairness (again, implementation often ruins what principle starts). It is literally enshrined in our Constitution next to inalienable rights like freedom of religion, equality of races, and the right of every citizen to vote regardless of genetics.
The concept of protecting the rights of the accused is rooted in the goal of protecting the rights of the innocent. The concept is that the rights of the innocent can only be adequately defended if the rights of the accused (innocent or guilty) are given priority over the rights of the victim. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it is the undeniable basis of our justice system.
The Obama regulations on title IX fail in two major ways, in my opinion. First and foremost, a university has no place investigating felony accusations any more than you or I do. When crimes this serious are involved, only police, prosecutors, and their designated investigators should be anywhere near the evidence (including witnesses). University officials shouldn’t be talking to witnesses, shouldn’t be conducting interrogations, and definitely shouldn’t be making decisions of fact.
Second, the regulations require a preponderance of evidence standard rather than a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. This literally obliterates one of the main rights of the accused in the United States.
Now, most will say that a university is not the government, so it isn’t required to follow the 5th amendment or abide by any other part of the justice system. That is a good argument, with one exception. Title IX, either on its own, or as implemented by the Obama administration (not sure which), requires universities to engage in these investigations and requires them to use a specific standard for judging the accused. That requirement by the federal government, makes the universities a de facto agent of the government in these cases. And as de facto agents of the government, all of those Constitutional rights suddenly need to be protected.
I’ve thought about how this should be handled and I don’t have a lot of great answers, but I am certain that the Obama solution is wrong. University officials (other than University police officers) should not be investigating felonies (of any type) or making decisions regarding guilt until after the police / district attorney has finished with a case. At the same time, we need some stupidly strict regulations to ensure that no accusation is swept under the rug (something along the time of multiple year prison terms for any university or government official that is found to have ignored or tried to hide an accusation). And Title IX guidelines should help universities implement fair ways to keep the accuser and the accused separated while any legal and potentially subsequent university investigations are ongoing.
And looking at that last paragraph I wrote, this is why I am certain that I will hate the DeVos rules. Because I don’t need to be Kreskin to know that no safeguards will be put in place to ensure that all accusations receive due diligence and that no fair guidelines will be made to keep accused and accuser from interacting.