Imagine if Donald Trump, a man accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women, were able to write the standards by which he would be judged. Don’t imagine: Just look at the new rules being promulgated by the president that will govern how accusations of sexual assault at schools and colleges are handled.
One of the worst would allow for cross-examination of accusers in real time, traumatizing victims all over again. Others change the standards of proof, notice and jurisdiction. Some make it easier for schools to escape responsibility altogether.
The way schools handle assaults now is a hodgepodge of procedures cobbled together school by school after President Obama sent a letter out in 2011 as campus assaults were increasing. The letter warned that administrators should do a good job handling cases, without offering a lot of specific guidance, or risk losing federal funds that schools get under Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination.