Bernstein Comments on California’s Affirmative Consent Law

In a U.S. News & World Report article, Professor David E. Bernstein comments on California’s new “Yes Means Yes” law, which addresses sexual assault on state-supported college campuses by requiring affirmative consent from all parties.


Bernstein says he’s concerned the consent requirement could apply to kissing or other behaviors legislators did not have in mind.

“The response when you bring up the hypotheticals is, ‘Oh, no one will enforce it that way,’” he says. “But the way to judge a policy or rule is by what it says, not by your expectations of common sense.”

California 'Yes Means Yes' Law Worries Skeptics, U.S. News & World Report, September 29, 2014. By Steve Nelson.