The new Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which may weaken even further the due process rights of those accused of sexual assault, is in fact a bipartisan effort, and that’s not because the GOP has been duped by fine print: its Republican backers actually support this attack on due process.

KC Johnson at Minding the Campus has the story:

Three GOP Senators Join the Crusade Against Due Process

To the surprise of many, three Republican U.S. senators have joined the Democrats in supporting the weakening of due process rights of students accused of rape and sexual assault in campus hearings.

Along with earlier answers from Marco Rubio, the offices of two additional Republican senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have now responded to questions submitted by the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow. (To date, none of the four Democratic co-sponsors have responded to Schow, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, who oddly implied that 19 percent of college women have filed sexual assault complaints.)  So it appears that a broad, bipartisan consensus exists to weaken due process on campus.

Grassley’s spokesperson answered most of Schow’s questions; Ayotte’s office provided a stream-of-consciousness response that evaded much of what Schow had asked. Ayotte is a former state attorney general. Grassley has been a legislator—at the state or federal level—since 1958. That the two experienced lawmakers seem contemptuous of due process is deeply disturbing.

According to Ayotte’s spokesperson, the bill “will ensure that only those who are properly trained are investigating these crimes, benefiting both the victim and the accused.” Grassley’s spokesperson added, “It is up the victim to decide whether to report a crime to local law enforcement.” The overwhelming majority of campus sexual assault cases seem to be not like the Duke lacrosse case (a fantasist imagining a non-existent occurrence) but instead sexual contact between two people, one of whom subsequently alleges a rape, with the other subsequently claiming consent. But the language of Ayotte and Grassley presumes guilt: since the accuser is called  a “victim,” the only way the accused student can be exonerated is by proving his innocence, perhaps by showing that someone else committed the rape. The existence of the crime, however, is presumed.