• With: Dan Henninger, Jason Riley, Collin Levy, James Freeman

    HENNINGER: Well, the effect is that the presidents won't push back against the craziest things on their campuses.

    GIGOT: And so if --

    HENNINGER: Because they risk Title IX fund figure they lose.

    GIGOT: And that would --


    HENNINGER: Their liability is significant.

    GIGOT: And that would include student loans.

    HENNINGER: That would include student loans.

    GIGOT: And they recently released a list of 55 colleges and universities who are under investigation for their Title IX enforcement processes. And these are some of the biggest names in academia, Princeton, for example.

    HENNINGER: Yeah, but this was -- well, these were for violations of the sexual violence side of Title IX.

    GIGOT: Right.

    HENNINGER: Catholic University, Carnegie Melon, Harvard Law School. And it's not clear exactly what their injuries are. It's simply they are under investigation. They haven't been cited for anything specific.

    GIGOT: The problem here in part is due process. Because the -- what the schools are being asked to do is implement enforcement regimes that deny, for example, explicitly, the ability of accused students to answer the accuser face-to-face. In some cases, even their lawyers are not allowed into the proceedings.

    HENNINGER: Yeah. It's the due process of the queen of hearts, sentence first, verdict afterwards. It really is. And they're dumbing down the idea of due process. And I think because you've got justice behind it, universities are going to go along with this for a long time.

    GIGOT: OK. Very, very dangerous.

    When we come back, Tea Party candidates taking a hit in some Republican primaries this week. But is the movement fading, or is the GOP establishment just getting smarter?


    GIGOT: Some signs of trouble for the Tea Party, whose candidates took a beating in Tuesday's primaries. The biggest loss, perhaps, came in North Carolina, where state house speaker and GOP candidate, Thom Tillis, defeated Tea Party favorite, Greg Brannan, by more than 18 percentage points, despite an eleventh-hour push for Brannan from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Nationally, a Gallup poll released this week put support for the Tea Party among Republicans at just 41 percent, down from a high of 61 percent in 2010.

    We're back with Dan Henninger and Jason Riley. And Wall Street Journal assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman, also joins us.

    Jason, what's happening here, this year, the Tea Party challengers in these primaries aren't fairing as well?

    RILEY: I guess reports the GOP establishment's death have been greatly exaggerated, Paul.

    GIGOT: It's not because everybody has suddenly fallen back in love with them.

    RILEY: No. I think it's partly they're a victim of their own success.

    They have moved --

    GIGOT: The Tea Party?

    RILEY: -- the Republican Party to the right. And I think these candidates, the Tea Party candidates, it's tougher for them to distinguish themselves from the establishment.

    In the case of Thom Tillis, you're talking about a house speaker in North Carolina, took on the teachers' unions and tenure reform, cut taxes, raised the cap on charter schools. It's hard to get to this guy's right without being really out there, and therefore probably unacceptable to people statewide.

    GIGOT: It also seems, James, that sometimes the Tea Party groups, the Senate Conservatives' Fund, that provides money for them, Freedom Works, picked some bad candidates.


    GIGOT: I mean, Matt Bevin in Kentucky, for example, challenging Mitch McConnell for the Senate race, he attacked McConnell for supporting TARP and the bank bailout. Turns out, in private life, he was supporting the TARP bailout.

    FREEMAN: Right. I think this goes to the positive impact the Tea Party has had in moving the Republican Party to the right, where the people who -- in Washington, who have sort of grabbed on to the Tea Party mantle and are trying to use it politically are taking on targets now that are not liberals. They're not moderates. Mitch McConnell is not a liberal. John Boehner beat back the Tea Party challenge. He's the establishment. He's the speaker of the House. But he is not the reason that ObamaCare exists.

    He is not the obstacle the conservatives are for.

    GIGOT: Are you guys saying here that this distinction between the establishment and the Tea Party is in some ways artificial?

    HENNINGER: I think it is.

    GIGOT: That the liberals -- the left, particularly the liberal media, loves to say, ah-ha, civil war in the Republican Party. You seem to be saying it's not that broad a gulf.

    HENNINGER: I think the idea of an establishment is very, very vague. At times, it almost seems as though anybody elected to Congress before 2010.

    And that would include someone like Paul Ryan, who, by my lights, could hardly be called an establishment sellout. He spent his entire five years fighting Barack Obama.

    GIGOT: And challenging Tom DeLay when they were -- when they were in the majority in 2005 on the budget.

    HENNINGER: So I think the Republican Party has to get a little bit clear about exactly what its opposition is. And more often than not, simply seemed it is other Republicans in Congress, which creates a circular firing squad.

    RILEY: I think this is also a very bad night for Rand Paul.