Author: Hans Bader

Hans Bader is a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Signing-of-the-Constitution

Liberal Journos Fume at Decision to Protect Academic Freedom

Progressive journalists have a message for you: Free expression is for them, not for you — and not for conservative bloggers and academics. Left-leaning journalists like Margaret Carlson are angry that the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of a conservative professor whose academic freedom rights were violated by Marquette University. It effectively fired him for a blog post that […]

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DeVos Attacked for Civil Liberties Donations

Betsy DeVos, who was nominated to be the Education Secretary, has been attacked because she and her husband made donations to a civil-liberties group, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE is “a nonpartisan organization that defends free speech, religious liberty, and due process on college campuses.” The DeVos family donations drew criticism from […]

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Illegal immigrants at Yale

Pro-Trump Message Investigated as Hate Crime on This Campus

Politically-correct college administrators in Madison, Wisconsin asked the police to investigate speech mocking campus Clinton supporters. The police reportedly did so, even though that could lead to a violation of the First Amendment. This occurred at Edgewood College. Reason Magazine reports that an investigation at Edgewood has begun over a “Suck it up, pussies” Post-it note […]

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What the Feds Have Done to Colleges and Schools

The Obama administration has repeatedly violated civil liberties on campus. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has been the chief culprit, but the Department of Justice has played a role too. They have attacked free speech, demanding that school officials censor politically-incorrect speech. They have also pressured colleges to stack the deck against […]

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The Feds Now Run a Bureaucracy That Regulates Sex

Writing in the California Law Review, Harvard Law School professors Jeannie Suk and Jacob Gersen note, “Today we have an elaborate and growing federal bureaucratic structure that in effect regulates sex.” This is largely the result of pressure from the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work. It has told colleges […]

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Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools

The federal government happily subsidizes inferior state colleges that graduate few if any of their students. That includes Chicago State University, which has a 12.8 percent six-year graduation rate. The Obama administration has rewritten federal student loan rules in a way that encourages colleges to raise tuition and effectively subsidizes the worst colleges the most. The Federal Reserve Bank of […]

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Senators Reward OCR Abuses with Budget Hike Proposal

Twenty-two Senators have asked the Appropriations Committee to increase the budget of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) by almost 30%. All of those Senators are Democrats except for Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. OCR has pressured colleges and high schools to adopt unconstitutional speech codes. It also has pressured school districts to […]

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The Systematic Eradication of Conservative Thought on Campus

Progressive faculty justify the absence of moderate and conservative voices on campus by saying that conservatives are stupid. As a result, moderate Republicans with Ivy League degrees and genius level IQs sometimes can’t find a job in academia.  My former boss had a degree from the highest-ranked law school (Yale) and had published scholarly articles, but […]

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Yik Yak—Latest Target of the Anti-Free-Speech Left

Last Wednesday, 72 left-wing groups, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, American Association of University Women, and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, asked federal civil-rights officials to crack down on anonymous politically-incorrect speech on campus, which they claim violates federal civil-rights laws such as Title IX. They claim they are concerned about “harassment” on anonymous […]

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The NY Times Reveals the Stupidity of ‘Yes Means Yes’

On October 15, The New York Times published a balanced news story that inadvertently revealed the stupidity of “Yes Means Yes” policies. Those policies redefine a great deal of consensual sex and touching as “sexual assault,” and effectively require college students to engage in “state-mandated dirty talk” during sexual encounters (as one supporter of “Yes Means Yes” policies gloated). That potentially violates the Constitution, and such policies have […]

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Education Dept. Rules on Campus Rape Called Illegal

The College Fix published an interesting article, “Department of Education shredded for lawless overreach in Senate hearing.” It was about Congress getting annoyed with the Education Department for illegally imposing mandates on colleges and schools out of thin air, without even going through rulemaking or the notice and comment required by the Administrative Procedure Act […]

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Education Department Rewards False Complaints of Abuse

The Education Department, where I used to work, is becoming more and more extreme in how it misinterprets and misapplies federal law. For example, the Education Department has thumbed its nose at federal court rulings by wrongly creating entitlements for people who make false discrimination and harassment complaints—even though such baseless complaints can make life […]

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Federal Aid Drives up College Costs, Study Finds

The federal government is now admitting that its own financial aid is partly to blame for rising tuition, reports Blake Neff in The Daily Caller: A new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found that the massive investment in grants and student loans by the federal government is a major contributor […]

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Another Illegal Rule from the Education Department

CEI Recently, I wrote about a report to the Senate by a task force of college presidents, on how the Education Department is illegally dumping an avalanche of new rules and regulations on America’s schools, without even complying with the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment requirements. Yet another example of such mischief is the 2014 sexual […]

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Obama Ed. Dept. Throws its Weight Around

CEI A task force of college presidents has chronicled massive regulatory overreaching by the U.S. Department of Education, which, on a daily basis, floods the nation’s schools with new, uncodified agency requirements that have never even been vetted through the formal rule-making process. “The Report of the Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education: […]

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A Slanted NPR Report Generates Bad Policy

CEI Bad things can happen when an agency (like the Education Department) throws caution to the wind and regulates based on slanted media coverage from National Public Radio, rather than facts and evidence. Checks and balances exist for a reason. When agencies impose new obligations on the institutions they regulate, they are supposed to first […]

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Autistic Student Suspended for Mistaken Hug and Kiss

Brian Ferguson, a  20-year-old autistic student, has been suspended from special-needs classes at Navarro College in Texas for mistakenly hugging a woman he did not know and kissing her on the top of her head, according to the student’s mother, Staci Martin. She said, “And then they labeled it ‘sexual assault’ because of the kissing,” […]

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Students Must Agree “Why” They Had Sex or It’s Sexual Assault

At Ohio State University, to avoid being guilty of “sexual assault” or “sexual violence,” you and your partner now apparently have to agree on the reason WHY you are making out or having sex.  It’s not enough to agree to DO it, you have to agree on WHY: there has to be agreement “regarding the […]

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The Frenzy Over “Rape Culture” Grows

Examiner Scheming politicians, opportunists, and grifters have latched onto the recent panic over a supposed “rape culture” on college campuses to clamp down on activities having nothing to do with rape. In some cases, they have imposed regulations that take away student opportunities and harm small businesses. Never mind that, as Wikipedia recently noted, there has been a […]

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Troubling provision in Campus Sex-Safety Act

Liberty Unyielding It is a conflict of interest — and sometimes a violation of the Constitution — for a fine to go to the very unit of government that employs the judge or official who imposed the fine. That gives the official an incentive to find the accused guilty in order to enrich the official’s […]

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McCaskill Endorses Loopy Version of Sexual Consent

It’s not just the Obama administration VAWA Office that thinks all sexual contact or behavior without “explicit consent” is sexual assault.  So does Senator McCaskill (D-MO). Later this summer, McCaskill is going to propose legislation that would further undermine due process on campus. According to Senator McCaskill’s spokeswoman, she thinks that people (including, presumably, her […]

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Obama Administration Attacks Cross-Examination and Due Process Rights in Campus Guidance

Cross-posted from Open MarketJustice Brandeis once observed that “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” However well-meaning they may be, the Obama administration’s guidance and task force recommendations yesterday on campus sexual harassment and rape contain an insidious attack on cross-examination (as KC […]

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The Anti-Bullying Assault on Free Speech

Cross-posted from Open Market Earlier, we wrote about a Wisconsin town whose ordinance  holds parents liable for bullying by their children, including certain speech. We  and law professor  Eugene Volokh  noted that this raised serious First Amendment issues. Now, a New Jersey judge has done the same thing by judicial  construction, by allowing New Jersey school districts to  drag […]

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Free Speech Includes Offensive Speech

Cross-posted from Open Market “The Wandering Dago food truck wants to park and sell food at various events on New York State property. The state says no, because the name is offensive. Does that violate the First Amendment?” The answer is probably yes, says UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh at this link. He recently discussed […]

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Obama Administration Demands Racial Quotas in School Discipline

Cross-posted from Open Market Crime rates are not the same for different racial groups, and student misconduct rates aren’t, either.  The Supreme Court ruled many years ago that such racial disparities don’t prove racism or unconstitutional discrimination. But in guidance issued last week by the Justice and Education Departments, the Obama Administration signaled that it will hold school districts […]

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More Harm from “Disparate Impact” Regulations

(Cross-posted from Open Market) Earlier, we wrote about the Obama administration’s attempt to inject a race-conscious “disparate impact” provision into colorblind anti-discrimination laws like the Fair Housing Act, and how that could lead to risky, race-conscious lending, bad loans, and future bank failures, mortgage meltdowns, and financial crises. Now, Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder highlights an […]

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Suing over Star Chamber Hearings

Recently, two male students sued colleges that expelled or suspended them over allegedly false claims of sexual misconduct. Citing school officials’ repeated violation of rules contained in student handbooks and college regulations, they argue that Vassar College and Saint Joseph’s University violated their contractual rights, Title IX (which bans sex discrimination), and anti-fraud laws.Their legal claims seem plausible to […]

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The Anti-Bullying Panic Makes it to College

Reposted from Open Market   We live in a culture where harsh but truthful criticism, or exposure of wrongdoing, is viewed by some as “bullying,” especially when it affects someone’s inflated “self-esteem.”   Some examples:         DePaul University has punished a student for publicizing the names of fellow students who admitted vandalizing […]

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Obama Bails Out the Students

Cross Posted From Open Market I’ve written before about perverse federal financial aid policies that encourage colleges to jack up tuition. Recently, the Obama administration came up with something even worse. It announced a new financial aid policy that will effectively bail out low-quality, high-tuition colleges and especially law schools at taxpayer expense, and encourage […]

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Another College Cost: Lower Birth Rate

Originally posted at Open Market   The Washington Times takes note of the burgeoning higher education bubble in a recent editorial: The cost of a college education has soared far in excess of the cost of health care. This is in spite of — or, more accurately, because of — massive government involvement in subsidizing […]

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