Man Bites Dog: NY Times Has Something Positive to Say About the Trump Administration

The editors must have blundered or gone on vacation at the New York Times today, because there’s actually a news story up today that offers a positive perspective of the Trump Administration, and even more astounding, the praise is coming chiefly from feminists, a few of whom have apparently gone rogue from the identity politics party line of the moment:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos fired a shot last month in the nation’s culture wars, overhauling how colleges handle investigations of sexual assault and ending what she called Obama-era “kangaroo courts” on campus.

The new Education Department rules give more protections to the accused, primarily young men who face discipline or expulsion as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct.

The move set off a liberal uproar, denounced by unions representing teachers and college professors, by the National Organization for Women and by an array of Democratic senators. The Trump rules, they said, constitute a radical rollback of protections for victims who seek justice after sexual assaults.

But Ms. DeVos’s actions won praise from a surprising audience: an influential group of feminist legal scholars who applauded the administration for repairing what they viewed as unconscionable breaches in the rights of the accused.

“The new system is vastly better and fairer,” said Prof. Janet Halley, who specializes in gender and sexuality at Harvard Law School. “The fact that we’re getting good things from the Trump administration is confusing, but isn’t it better than an unbroken avalanche of bad things?”

There are few more contested cultural battlegrounds than college campuses and the rules that govern sexual misconduct and due process, and thorny questions of how to define sexual consent.

Most often this battle is framed as Left versus Right, feminist against traditionalist. But that is to miss a fierce and complicated struggle within feminist and liberal circles. Several colleagues who teach and write on gender and the law have joined Professor Halley in donning the cloth of heretics. . .

Good for the Times for getting this story right. The Obama Title IX rules were the most fundamental assault on due process since the Star Chambers of the 17th century.

Of course, there is this fun bit of understatement:

Supporting the Trump administration’s revamping of the rules comes laden with risk, as more than a few liberal critics accuse these feminists of having lost their way. Yet some of the strongest female voices in legal circles occupy this hill of dissent.

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