Californai Yes means Yes Law

California’s “Yes Means Yes” Law

California Universities To Apply “Yes Means Yes” Rule in Disciplinary Hearings

Public Concern About Rape On College Campuses

College rape cases have been making headlines across the country. A common theme in these cases is criticism of college administration for failing to take the complaints of alleged victims seriously. In response to these criticisms, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that changes the rules that colleges must use when investigating college rape cases.

California’s “Yes Means Yes” Law

The “yes means yes” law enacted by Governor Brown applies to all college campuses in California that receive state funds for student financial assistance. Under the new rule, whenever there is a disciplinary hearing that involves one student raping or sexually assaulting another student the school administration must determine whether the alleged victim gave “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity”.

What “Yes Means Yes” Means

In other words, the alleged perpetrator must show that the alleged victim gave some sort of explicit assent to sexual activity. Furthermore, the alleged perpetrator must show that they took “reasonable steps” to make sure that he understood that explicit assent was given by the alleged victim. This consent can be withdrawn at any time before or during sex.

A College Disciplinary Hearing Has a Lower Standard Of Proof

According to the new law, a disciplinary committee only has to find proof of lack of consent by “preponderance of the evidence”. This is a lower standard of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt” in a court room. Of course, punishment does not include imprisonment. The worst punishment that can happen is being expelled from college, though this can also have severe consequences for a person’s future employment or ability to apply to another college.

California Driver Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented Immigrants Can Now Legally Drive

The New Year brought not only a change in the calendar, but also put a new law into effect in California that directly benefits undocumented immigrants. On January 1, 2015 AR 30 made it possible for undocumented immigrants to get a California Driver’s License. Provided they can show “reasonable proof” that the person applying lives in California.

New Document Options for a California Driver License

According to the new law, the following documents can be used to provide reasonable proof necessary to get a California Driver’s License:

  • A valid consulate document or passport from the undocumented immigrants home country.
  • An original birth certificate, or other proof of age.
  • A home utility bill, rental agreement, or other proof of residency in California.
  • A foreign driver’s license
  • A marriage license or divorce certificate
  • An United States Asylum Application (Form I-589)
  • An official school or college transcript that includes the applicant’s date of birth.
  • A deed showing ownership of a house or land.
  • An income tax return or property tax bill.

If the document is in a language other than English it has to have a certified translation with it.

The New Fine Print

While the card will make it so undocumented immigrants can drive legally in the state of California it will also include fine print language on the card. The fine print will say that the driver’s license cannot be used to vote, get welfare benefits, or seek employment. It will also note that the license can’t be used for any application that involves the United States federal government.

These restrictions aside, this new law will provide an important benefit to undocumented immigrants who live in the state of California.