Justice on Campus

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Thanks in part to pressure from the Obama administration, many colleges adjudicate allegations of sexual assault under a “preponderance of evidence” standard. Critics have said that standards of proof should be higher. Brooklyn College president Michelle Anderson defends the Obama policy in the Washington Post: “Preponderance is the standard of proof that applies throughout our justice system, except when life or liberty is at stake.”

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute emails: “I don’t know how one teaches law (as she did) without being aware of the well-known clear-and-convincing standard, which pervades things such as termination of parental rights, overturning of wills, and (in most states) punitive damages.”

Elsewhere in the op-ed Anderson laments how easy it is for facts to be mischaracterized in this debate. She seems to be on to something there.

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