Senator McCain - You Seriously Think That Letter’s a Good Idea??

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Wow, Uncle Grumps McCain seems to be morphing into yr creepy step-uncle who ya don’t really want to hug if you can avoid it. 

For background, the DOJ, after investigating charges that colleges and universities were pretty much ignoring or down playing charges of sexual assault and harassment on campuses has put out new guidelines for reporting instances of unwanted sexual conduct.

The OCR has responded by ratcheting up enforcement of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in colleges, to introduce new regulations on sexual assault policies. And out of that effort comes an agreement so mild that it has elicited only hopeful skepticism from campus activists. But the mere assertion that it is possible for speech to be harassing under certain conditions, and that colleges ought to investigate harassing behavior on their campuses, has conservatives in uproar.

Surprise, surprise.  I mean since college co-eds are basically just sexy sluts anyway, shouldn’t the menz be able to *wink wink* give them what they know they want anyway!!

One, totally not creepy, pundit has even suggested that we are de-eroticizing our universities!  Yes, because consent is not a thing, you know, so without the ability to disregard the word “no” sex and eroticity will totally disappear from the college environment.

So, to get back to the beginning, Creepy Old Step-Uncle Grumps McCain is on the case for the lady botherers!

Yes, he has sent a Very Serious Letter to that prude Eric Holder:

McCain’s letter, sent to Holder last Wednesday, accuses Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers of having “single-handedly redefined the meaning of sexual harassment at all universities and colleges across the country.” Endorsing claims made by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has led the attack on the DOJ and OCR, McCain suggests that guidelines set out by the DOJ and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) with one university in the wake of increasing student protest and complaint over the epidemic of rape culture across college campuses would somehow restrict free speech.

The crux of the matter seems to be that, for purposes of students reporting sexual harassment, it is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Which the crazies are defining as “asking someone out on a date” maybe.

Once again - “consent”, people.  It’s about “consent”.  And these rules are just for purposes of reporting.  The school would then decide whether it warrants an investigation. (Refer to “agreement so mild” ref’d above.  But hey, it’s better than it was.  The University of Montana, where all this started, basically considered rape to be not worth doing anything about.)

As far as the Creepy Step-Uncle, am I thinking maybe some “projection” is taking place?  Irresponsible to speculate or irresponsible not to?

Posted by marindenver on 07/03/13 at 07:49 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '08St. McSameNuttersTeabaggeryWar On Women

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One, totally not creepy, pundit has even suggested that we are de-eroticizing our universities!

There’s got to be a non-creepy middle ground between creepy moral scold and creepy libertine, but these are not the sort of men to find it.

The above blog post ignores the fact that the Education and Justice Departments sought to unconstitutionally redefine “any unwelcome” speech on sexual topics as sexual harassment, as UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh has noted—a flagrant violation of the First Amendment.

Many civil-libertarians and legal scholars have agreed with Senator McCain, including former ACLU Board members Wendy Kaminer and Harvey Silverglate, the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri, Cathy Young in Newsday, law professor Volokh, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Page 9 of the government’s May 9 Letter of Findings regarding the University of Montana sought to define “any unwelcome sexual conduct” as harassment, even if the conduct was speech, and it would only offend an unreasonable person who overhears it.

That definition is so broad that it violates the federal appeals court rulings in cases like DeJohn v. Temple University (2008), which say that speech cannot be banned as “sexual harassment” on campus unless it is objectively harmful, not just “unwelcome” to one listener who overhears it.

Thus, Senator McCain is right in this case.

@ Hans Bader—you lost me at “Eugene Volokh.” That’s not to say the DOJ is right on this; I’d have to see more detail to give an informed opinion. But I don’t find an appeal to authority based primarily on the opinion of a glibertarian yutz like Volokh very convincing. I suspect I’m not alone in this.

@Hans Bader - in my opinion “any unwelcome sexual conduct” is harassment. Additionally, if you had read the materials linked, the standard is only for purposes of student reporting which could then lead to an investigation.  It’s not a legal standard for defining harassment.  The old standards remain.  Additionally the University of Montana does not believe the guidelines are unconstitutional and is planning to implement it.

All of this is, at least partially, is in response to a pervasive culture of ignoring or trivializing rape on college campuses.  So conservatives who spout off about this being about 1st amendment rights need to take a hard look at where they come down on real issues of sexual harassment and assault.

Betty, you are most definitely not alone.

Master Bader lost me at CATHY YOUNG one of the most vile pundits of all time.

Still, I have to agree with Senator McCain—with regulations like this harmless flirtations like Tail Hook would probably even be dissallowed.

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