Lessons from dismissed campus due process lawsuits

Students who have been found responsible for campus sexual assault and are expelled sometimes sue their universities. But they have had mixed success in the federal courts.

The Washington Examiner spoke with one lawyer, Andrew Miltenberg, who has filed many cases on behalf of accused students. He described what he's learned from cases that have been dismissed.

"I've learned that the federal courts are very good courts but that they're reluctant to grasp on to this issue of bias or prejudice, unless it appears to be widespread," Miltenberg said. "And one of the problems is that in any one of these cases you're only really looking at a singular event."

Miltenberg described how Title IX's original purpose — to make sports more accessible to women — was easier to use to find discrimination. One could clearly see if a school was providing more funding to male sports than female sports, or allowing only men's teams to use certain facilities. But since sexual assault was redefined to be a form of sex discrimination, and Title IX has been reinterpreted to require schools to adjudicate felonies as discrimination, the evidence is harder to see.

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"It's very hard for the court to look at it the way I think courts need to, which is, as a cumulative series of events that are happening across the nation or, you know, multiple times at the same institution," Miltenberg said, adding that it would take a "volume" of sexual assault cases to get the federal court to notice that this is a pervasive problem.

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