Reply Sun 26 May, 2013 03:13 pm
George Will's column the other day discussed the DOE's office of Civil Rights letter to the U of Montana regarding handling sexual assault.

Will's column says:

Quote:
Responding to what it considers the University of Montana’s defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults, OCR, in conjunction with the Justice Department, sent the university a letter intended as a “blueprint” for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment, too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below) adoption of speech codes — actually, censorship regimes — to punish students who:

Make “sexual or dirty jokes” that are “unwelcome.” Or disseminate “sexual rumors” (even if true) that are “unwelcome.” Or make “unwelcome” sexual invitations. Or engage in the “unwelcome” circulation or showing of “e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.” Or display or distribute “sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials” that are “unwelcome.”

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, a specialist in First Amendment jurisprudence, notes (on the indispensable Volokh Conspiracy blog) that the OCR-DOJ’s proscriptions are “not limited to material that a reasonable person would find offensive.” The Supreme Court has held that for speech or conduct in schools to lead to a successful sexual harassment lawsuit, it must be sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a hostile environment. And it must be “objectively offensive” to a reasonable person. But, Volokh notes, the OCR-DOJ rules would mandate punishment for any individual’s “conduct of a sexual nature,” conduct “verbal, nonverbal or physical,” that is not objectively offensive to a normal person. This means any conduct “unwelcome” by anyone.


Then later:

Quote:
Most of academia’s leadership is too invertebrate and too soggy with political correctness to fight the OCR-DOJ mischief. But someone will. And it is so patently unconstitutional that it will be swiftly swatted down by the courts. Still, it is useful idiocy because, coming right now, it underscores today’s widespread government impulse for lawless coercion — the impulse that produced the Internal Revenue Service’s suppression of political speech that annoys the Obama administration.


(Full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/alice-in-wonderland-coercion/2013/05/24/14de6762-c490-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?hpid=z2)

The letter to the University (http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/um-ltr-findings.pdf) defines sexual harassment as

Quote:
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.


My two questions:

What, exactly, is meant by "lawless coercion"?

Do you agree/disagree that this definition of sexual harassment is overly broad?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 May, 2013 03:18 pm
I agree that it is too vague and broad. How does one define unwelcome? Lawless coercion would be applying pressure to achieve a desired outcome in the behavior on the part of someone or some institution without reference to violations of existing laws.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 May, 2013 03:40 pm
@Setanta,
So telling someone to stop behaving a certain way, even if what they were doing isn't against the law is "lawless coercion"? Does it somehow have to imply a threat of legal action or ramifications?

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 12:54 am
@boomerang,
I don't think so, in fact, that seems to be opposite. It's not "even if what they are doing isn't against the law," it's precisely because one attempts to coerce someone whose actions are not illegal.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 01:35 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

George Will's column the other day discussed the DOE's office of Civil Rights letter to the U of Montana regarding handling sexual assault.

Will's column says:

Quote:
Responding to what it considers the University of Montana’s defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults, OCR, in conjunction with the Justice Department, sent the university a letter intended as a “blueprint” for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment, too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below) adoption of speech codes — actually, censorship regimes — to punish students who:

Make “sexual or dirty jokes” that are “unwelcome.” Or disseminate “sexual rumors” (even if true) that are “unwelcome.” Or make “unwelcome” sexual invitations. Or engage in the “unwelcome” circulation or showing of “e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature.” Or display or distribute “sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials” that are “unwelcome.”

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, a specialist in First Amendment jurisprudence, notes (on the indispensable Volokh Conspiracy blog) that the OCR-DOJ’s proscriptions are “not limited to material that a reasonable person would find offensive.” The Supreme Court has held that for speech or conduct in schools to lead to a successful sexual harassment lawsuit, it must be sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a hostile environment. And it must be “objectively offensive” to a reasonable person. But, Volokh notes, the OCR-DOJ rules would mandate punishment for any individual’s “conduct of a sexual nature,” conduct “verbal, nonverbal or physical,” that is not objectively offensive to a normal person. This means any conduct “unwelcome” by anyone.


Then later:

Quote:
Most of academia’s leadership is too invertebrate and too soggy with political correctness to fight the OCR-DOJ mischief. But someone will. And it is so patently unconstitutional that it will be swiftly swatted down by the courts. Still, it is useful idiocy because, coming right now, it underscores today’s widespread government impulse for lawless coercion — the impulse that produced the Internal Revenue Service’s suppression of political speech that annoys the Obama administration.


(Full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/alice-in-wonderland-coercion/2013/05/24/14de6762-c490-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html?hpid=z2)

The letter to the University (http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/um-ltr-findings.pdf) defines sexual harassment as

Quote:
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.


My two questions:

What, exactly, is meant by "lawless coercion"?

Do you agree/disagree that this definition of sexual harassment is overly broad?
I take it that he means coercion
that is devoid of a jurisdictional foundation; faking jurisdiction, by hoax.

I agree that the indicated definition is too broad.

It also does violence to logic, by falsely implying
that the perpetrator knows what someone else
will deem to be welcome or un-welcome (telepathy??)





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 01:46 am
@boomerang,
If someone asked a student out on a date,
he 'd only know whether his invitation were un-welcome or not,
un-lawful, or not AFTER his offer were accepted or rejected.
A prudent student wud never ask out another student, in fear of retribution.
(He 'd be safer by turning his attentions to a professional
lady of the evening.)





David
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 31 May, 2013 04:32 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Yes it is a crazy mine field for a young college male now days and I do not know about turning to hookers but not dating fellow students might be a damn good idea.

You might not end up in prison due to a woman regret after the fact but you could have your college career ended and with a hell of a black mark on your record.

You have little to no normal protections in such college level hearings and as there is always a chance that some criminal charges could follow you would likely not be wise to take part in such hearings in any case even if that mean being thrown out of college for no good reason.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jun, 2013 01:40 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
Yes it is a crazy mine field for a young college male now days
and I do not know about turning to hookers but not dating fellow
students might be a damn good idea.
That 'd be my advice, if I had a son in college, with any such rules.
(Better yet: find a better college.)
Professional girls who r paid as per contract
are not likely to cause him any trouble,
( but then, he is not likely to want the advice of his own father ).





BillRM wrote:
You might not end up in prison due to a woman regret after the fact
but you could have your college career ended and with a hell of a black mark on your record.
???? I never heard of that
when I was in school; private business.





David
0 Replies
 
 

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