Federal judge finds provision of Trump-era Title IX rule unlawful

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

  • Last week, a federal judge took issue with a provision of a Trump-era regulation that governs how colleges must investigate and potentially punish sexual misconduct on campuses.
  • The rule dictated that when colleges judged a report of sexual violence, they could not consider statements made by parties or witnesses who did not subject themselves to cross-examination in a hearing. U.S. District Court Judge William Young said this prohibition was unlawful. The court sent it back to the U.S. Department of Education for further explanation and consideration.
  • Young preserved the rest of the rule on Title IX, the federal law banning sex-based discrimination in educational settings.

Dive Insight:

The Title IX regulation issued by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took effect about a year ago. It aimed to correct what the Trump administration and due process activists considered an unbalanced approach to handling sexual misconduct cases.  According to critics, the federal government’s previous policies on Title IX, which came in the form of guidance from the Obama administration, were too slanted against students accused of sexual misconduct. They said the direction, despite not carrying the force of law, pressured colleges to find students responsible for sexual violence under the threat of having their federal funding pulled.

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