The Department of Education announced it would stop enforcing a Trump administration rule designed to protect those accused of sexual assault on college campuses.
A district court in Massachusetts upheld most of the Title IX 2020 amendments in a July ruling, maintaining new regulations related to public institutions managing allegations of harassment, assault, violence, and more. Although, the court struck down one procedural regulation related to what evidence a “Decision-Maker,” or the employee who is designated to adjudicate the case, may consider in making rulings.
Following the court ruling and a letter from the Department of Education on Tuesday, the chosen adjudicator can now consider emails and texts between the parties and witnesses, police reports and medical reports, regardless of cross-examination status at the live hearing.
Catherine Lhamon’s (right) work in President Barack Obama’s administration on Title IX issues may have won her praise from liberal groups and organizations representing alleged and confirmed victims of sexual assault, but it drew criticism from the ranking member of the Senate’s education committee.
President Joe Biden has nominated Lhamon to lead the federal Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the same position she held under Obama. But Senate Republicans and due-process advocates have questioned her position on the rights of accused students.
Republican Senator Richard Burr said he is concerned that Lhamon “will charge ahead unraveling significant pieces of the previous administration’s Title IX rules.” He made the comments during a July 13 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee meeting.
The Biden administration’s nominee to lead the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights told a Senate committee Tuesday that a year-old Title IX regulation does not require the presumption of innocence for students accused of sexual misconduct.
The claim drew bafflement from critics of Catherine Lhamon, who held the same job in the Obama administration’s second term.
In response to threats from Lhamon to pull their federal funding, colleges lowered evidentiary standards and enacted policies that treat accusers more favorably than accused students. Courts have been steadily reining in those practices, sometimes citing the pressure from Lhamon’s office as evidence of bias.
On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s Department of Education declared that it would be reversing a popular policy from the presidency of Donald Trump that protected student athletes from interference by so-called “transgender” students, and instead said that the transgenders themselves will receive special protection, according to USA Today.
Four female athletes are appealing a ruling that dismissed their challenge to a policy that allows biological males to compete in female sports.
Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti will continue to challenge the Connecticut policy, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm announced Monday.
The Biden administration has rejected a petition to define sex in biological terms as it reviews the Trump administration’s Title IX policies on women’s sports and sexual misconduct proceedings.
The rejection came a day after the Department of Education announced it was soliciting public input on implementing President Biden’s March 8 executive order on sex discrimination.
The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), a self-described radical feminist group that opposes transgender policies, said it was pleased that the department did not reject its legal arguments out of hand.
Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion to intervene in a “radical” lawsuit attacking the religious freedom of both religious colleges and students attending these schools, ADF senior counsel David Cortman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.
Former and current students of evangelical colleges filed a lawsuit last week against the Department of Education asking that a Title IX law that gives exemptions to religious educational institutions be declared unconstitutional.
The law currently forbids educational institutions receiving federal funds to discriminate on the basis of sex but exempts religious groups if the law “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation to ban biological males from participating in women’s sports.
Gabbard, a Democrat who ran for the 2020 presidential nomination for her party, is the sponsor of H.R. 8932, the “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” alongside Reps. Markwayne Mullin, (R-Okla.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-W.V.), and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).