Miltenberg: “Amy Coney Barrett Could Change Campus Sexual Assault Rules Forever,” Newsweek


Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, could have a huge impact on how campus sexual assault cases are handled if appointed to the nation’s highest court. Experts told Newsweek how Barrett’s appointment could affect Title IX after she wrote an appellate decision last year that made it easier for students accused of committing campus sexual assaults to challenge their university’s handling of the cases. Title IX is the landmark civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, aimed at protecting students from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. … Last year, Barrett wrote an influential unanimous three-judge panel decision in the case of John Doe v. Purdue University for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—a case involving students, identified only as Jane and John Doe, at the university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Jane alleged her boyfriend had sexually assaulted her on two occasions in November 2015. John later filed a federal lawsuit against the university, arguing it had used constitutionally flawed procedures to determine his guilt. He also claimed the school had violated Title IX when it expelled him and took away his Navy ROTC scholarship. … Andrew Miltenberg, an attorney representing John, told Newsweek that Barrett’s ruling “set a standard by which [schools] have to hold themselves during an investigation.” He added that it “not only recognized that there are procedural due process issues, which have to be preserved for someone accused, regardless of what they’re accused of but it also accepted the fact that it’s possible that, whether it’s an investigator, a hearing officer, or a campus culture, there can be bias within the system based on gender and based on a male being the accused.” Miltenberg added: “We’re not at the point where a judge can decide whether we have enough evidence to win the case, that’s what the discovery process is for, but we are at a point for a judge to recognize that there is a basis for these allegations.”

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