In Historic Win for Due Process, ABA Defeats Controversial ‘Affirmative Consent’ Measure

Press release here. Excerpt:

'Yesterday, the American Bar Association House of Delegates defeated an “affirmative consent” resolution that could have fundamentally reshaped the sexual practices of many millions of Americans. Following a contentious debate, delegates voted 256-165 to defeat the measure.

Relying on ungainly prose, revised ABA Resolution 114 stated, “RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges legislatures and courts to define consent in sexual assault cases as the consent of a person who is competent to give consent to engage in a specific act of sexual penetration, oral sex, or sexual contact, to provide that consent is expressed by words or action in the context of all the circumstances, provided that nothing herein changes the Constitutionally-guaranteed presumption of innocence, or the burden of proof, which at all times remains on the prosecution to prove every element of an offense, including without limitation lack of consent, beyond a reasonable doubt.” (1)

The resolution was opposed by a broad coalition of groups, including over 100 members of the American Law Institute, the National Association of Criminal Justice Lawyers and many of its state affiliates, and other organizations (2).

Prosecutors played a key role in defeating the measure. The Center for Prosecutor Integrity opposed an earlier version of the resolution because it “violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by shifting the burden of proof to the accused person, effectively eliminating the presumption of innocence.” (3) The North Carolina Advocates for Justice, which consists of both prosecutors and defense attorneys, came out against the measure because it “offends fundamental and well-established notions of justice.” (4)'

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No votes were less than double Yes votes. What's disturbing is how many votes the measure got. My worry is this measure will keep getting brought up until eventually it passes. Maybe not this year but eventually. Affirmative Consent is the kind of feminist weapon they are unlikely to leave on the field.

The first use of tanks in WWI was a big fail. Had they given up on it the war would've stretched out. But they kept at it. The third time the UK deployed tanks in the field they resolutely broke the stalemate and made it clear the Allies had the winning hand. This forced the Germans to finally give up and accept surrender.

Affirmative Consent is to me like the tank. Feminists thus far have been hugely successful making it a rule on college campuses. It has failed to take hold among bar assn types -- for now. What happens the 3rd or 4th time they bring it up?

The fight's far from over. They'll be back next year.

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