The Las Vegas Review-Journal is not a fan of the new campus sex assault bill and points out the lack of due process on campus.

EDITORIAL: Campus sex assault bill flattens due process

America’s college campuses have long displayed contempt for the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Now Congress is prepared to pass legislation that tramples students’ Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights as well.

Harrowing allegations of sexual assault at colleges, as well as the lack of support some colleges provide to accusers, have become national news stories. These cases have prompted agitators to denounce the “rape culture” behind booze- and drug-fueled parties and colleges’ refusal to do anything about it. Universities have responded to this pressure by performing their own investigations into criminal allegations and taking action outside local and state justice systems — even when authorities declined to prosecute.

Enter Congress. In the past couple of weeks, three bills have been introduced to address campus sexual assault, the most noteworthy of which is the Campus Safety and Accountability Act. But far from ordering colleges to honor the Constitution, the bill turns the Bill of Rights upside down by favoring the interests of the accuser over the rights of the accused, assuming a crime has taken place instead of determining whether a crime took place.

The bill’s summary calls accusers “survivors” and would allow the government to fine colleges up to 1 percent of their operating budgets — many millions of dollars for large institutions — for failing to properly investigate and report a sexual assault allegation. So what constitutes a proper investigation? The guilty-until-proved-innocent model of justice already employed by university disciplinary panels, often under a definition of sexual assault that’s stretched well beyond statute, at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department.

In an article for the website Minding the Campus, K.C. Johnson, a due-process advocate and history professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, wrote that in the past three years at Yale alone, several students were found culpable for sexual assault under “informal complaint” procedures that provide no way for an accused student to present evidence of innocence. And in a “formal complaint” at Yale, the accused cannot have an attorney as part of the process.