Biden’s Office for Civil Rights Pick Questioned on Her Position on Campus Due Process

Catherine Lhamon’s (right) work in President Barack Obama’s administration on Title IX issues may have won her praise from liberal groups and organizations representing alleged and confirmed victims of sexual assault, but it drew criticism from the ranking member of the Senate’s education committee.

President Joe Biden has nominated Lhamon to lead the federal Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the same position she held under Obama. But Senate Republicans and due-process advocates have questioned her position on the rights of accused students.

Republican Senator Richard Burr said he is concerned that Lhamon “will charge ahead unraveling significant pieces of the previous administration’s Title IX rules.” He made the comments during a July 13 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee meeting.

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Education Department Civil Rights Nominee Rejects Presumption of Innocence for Accused Students

Catherine Lhamon

The Biden administration’s nominee to lead the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights told a Senate committee Tuesday that a year-old Title IX regulation does not require the presumption of innocence for students accused of sexual misconduct.

The claim drew bafflement from critics of Catherine Lhamon, who held the same job in the Obama administration’s second term.

In response to threats from Lhamon to pull their federal funding, colleges lowered evidentiary standards and enacted policies that treat accusers more favorably than accused students. Courts have been steadily reining in those practices, sometimes citing the pressure from Lhamon’s office as evidence of bias.

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Commentary: Biden’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy Has Roots in Clinton Years

The “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” released last month by the National Security Council, claims to take a “narrowly tailored” approach. Something along those lines is indeed evident throughout the document.

In 2016, readers learn, “an anti–authority violent extremist ambushed, shot, and killed five police officers in Dallas.” The national strategy document does not identify the killer, Micah Johnson, an African American veteran who hated cops. Johnson actually shot a dozen officers but managed to kill only five, and he had bomb-making materials in his home. This killer only opposes “authority” and his murder victims remain unidentified in the NSC document.

In 2017, according to the National Strategy “a lone gunman wounded four people at a congressional baseball practice.” Readers are not told this was James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Republicans and targeted them for assassination. That should easily qualify as domestic terrorism but here Hodgkinson is only a “gunman.” The National Strategy does not reveal that the “wounded” included Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.), who barely escaped with his life. The NSC document fails to mention that Hodkinson also shot Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, an African American.

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Biden Civil Rights Nominee Pressed Colleges to Adopt Policies Often Struck Down in Court

Catherine Ilhamon

The Biden administration reached back into Team Obama to fill an Education Department slot that oversees civil rights, including Title IX enforcement.

Catherine Lhamon’s nomination last month drew immediate concern from advocates of due process and fair procedures in college Title IX investigations because so many court decisions — 200 by one count — have since challenged the approach she and others in the Obama administration took in investigating campus sexual assaults.

Two more rulings arrived this week, from the 8th U.S. Circuit of Appeals and an Iowa district court under its jurisdiction.

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Carol Swain Commentary: Critical Race Theory Is a Cancer on Our Educational System

Critical race theory is the civil rights issue of our time. It eats away at our public, private, and Christian academies with its cancerous messages about white privilege, minority disadvantage, and perennial racism. Hardly a day goes by that I do not hear from parents and teachers about yet another school system where the cancerous roots of critical race theory have taken hold or begun to appear under the guise of “culturally competent teaching and learning” or “educational equity.” No matter what they call it, they cannot hide its poisonous effects. 

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Education Group Files Federal Civil Rights Complaint Against School District That Admitted to ‘Systemic Racism’

A national advocacy organization has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Columbus City Schools after its board said there is “systemic racism” within the system.

Parents’ Defending Education’s complaint to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights came after The College Fix asked it about the statement from the school system.

The Fix asked the legal nonprofit if it planned to file a complaint, similar to the one the group filed against Webster Groves schools in Missouri.

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Minnesota Cities’ Police Settlements Ranged from $50,000 to $24.3 Million from 2018-20

Freedom of Information Act research conducted by The Center Square reveals Minnesota cities relied on taxpayers to foot police-settlement payouts ranging from $50,000 to more than $24 million between 2018 and 2020.

Police settlements compensate the public for violated rights and also avoid clogging the court system.

Still, over the past few decades, taxpayers are being left with more significant bills.

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Commentary: Conservatives Need to Stand Up for Their Own Civil Rights

For those making their arguments about whether Section 230 should be repealed or reformed to protect conservatives on social media, it’s time to declare that this ship sailed long ago. Most of the world has now come to accept that these monolithic platforms can remove people or their content at will. The banning of President Trump and a host of other conservatives from all major platforms has proven this point beyond dispute. 

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Commentary: Can We Recover American Nobility, Piety, and Humanity?

There was a time when a kind of nobility still existed among our leaders. In Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, delivered March 4, 1865, while the nation was still riven by a bloody Civil War, he envisioned a future of national healing. In words now carved in the marble of the Lincoln Memorial, he pledged, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,” to go on “to bind up the nation’s wounds,” and to “do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves . . .”

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University of Minnesota Students File Civil Rights Complaint Against School Alleging Misuse of Student Fees

Two students filed a civil rights complaint against the University of Minnesota for misuse of student fees and “worship[ing] the great god of political correctness.” Along with a student group called Viewpoint Neutrality Now!, students Evan Smith and Isaac Smith claim student fees being used to fund nine cultural centers in Coffman Union with subsidized space is unconstitutional, reported the Minnesota Daily.

Viewpoint Neutrality Now! is not officially recognized as a campus organization at UMN, but it is an association of students who pay student fees and “support and advocate for viewpoint neutrality and other reforms.” The students say that the current system has offered “preferential treatment” to nine cultural groups receiving student fees in that they are offered free lounge space in the student union.

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Biden Says Race ‘Shouldn’t Be About the Past,’ Defends His Civil Rights Record

by Shelby Talcott   Former Vice President Joe Biden said the 2020 presidential race “shouldn’t be about the past” Friday before defending his civil rights record. “I want to be absolutely clear about my … position on racial justice, including busing. I never, never, never ever opposed voluntary busing,” Biden…

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Commentary: Ralph Abernathy and His Stand to Put Americans First – in 1969

by John M. Howting   The summer of 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon. Before Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” however, another significant event occurred: Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s protest outside of the Saturn V rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida.…

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Commentary: Learning About America’s Forgotten Civil Rights History

by Marc DeJager   Early in the morning last Saturday, a group of 12 Heritage Foundation interns (including myself) boarded a bus bound for Holly Knoll, the manor house of Robert Russa Moton. Most of us had never heard of Moton before. This is unsurprising, as he was “the forgotten…

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The Double Standard of Justice in the U.S. Is Risking the Collapse of the Entire System

Lady Justice

by Printus LeBlanc   The political world is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of Paul Manafort’s trial. The former one-time Trump campaign chairman is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for various tax and bank fraud crimes, most of which occurred over a decade ago. Manafort is also…

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