Today Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill from the California state legislature that would have codified the previous Title IX “guidance” about sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. Referencing a previously enacted California law imposing an “affirmative consent” standard for hookups (“Yes means yes,” along with a “preponderance of evidence” standard for making judgments), Brown today says this:
Since this law was enacted, however, thoughtful legal minds have increasingly questioned whether federal and state actions to prevent and redress sexual harassment and assault—well-intentioned as they are—have also unintentionally resulted in some colleges’ failure to uphold due process for accused students. Depriving any student of higher education opportunities should not be done lightly, or out of fear of losing state or federal funding.
Given the strong state of our laws already, I am not prepared to codify additional requirements in reaction to a shifting federal landscape, when we haven’t yet ascertained the full impact of what we recently enacted. We have no insight into how many formal investigations result in expulsion, what circumstances lead to expulsion, or whether there is disproportionate impact on race or ethnicity. We may bed more statutory requirements than what this bill contemplates. We may need fewer. Or still yet, we may need simply to fine tune what we have.
This is pretty much what secretary of education Betsy DeVos says about the issue, in moving to have a formal federal rule-making process about it. But the left is in full cry against her. I wonder what they’ll say now about Gov. Brown.