Cornell Law Professors Join Strengthening Push For Due Process On Campus

Ashe Schow:

Colleges and universities typically fall back on the defense that at least they followed their own policies when denying a male student due process rights. But Cornell isn’t even doing that. Professor Sheri Lynn Johnson, who filed the brief, asserts that Cornell didn’t provide an accused student the right “to test his accuser’s account of events and credibility by having a disciplinary hearing panel ask his accuser proper questions that he proposes,” which is granted to students in Cornell policy.

Although the brief specifically addresses this policy in one case, the professors note they are “concerned more generally with whether Cornell respects this and other procedural protections in its Title IX policy going forward and whether courts properly interpret the policy.”

The specific case included in the brief involves the pseudonymous John Doe and his accuser, referred to as Sally Roe. Sally made inconsistent statements throughout the investigation and hearing, and even though John submitted questions to the hearing panel to be asked of her, none of his questions were asked.