Now that the election is over and Joe Biden is the projected winner, many students and schools are wondering about his promises from months ago when he was a presidential candidate. Biden stated that he would address the Title IX changes Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education implemented and give them a “quick end.” Although this article also speaks to general reopening plans amid COVID-19, what's perhaps most of interest is the section that discusses Title IX. Biden has vowed to dismantle all of the new guidance. However, the New York Times asserts that it will not be that simple. They write: “Undoing what is arguably Ms. DeVos's most formidable accomplishment — rules for federally funded schools investigating sexual misconduct — could be tougher.”
NBC agrees. In their coverage of the potential changes, they point out that as a result of how DeVos implemented her regulations (via a “formal rule-making process”), Biden will also have to be as deliberate. There are several potential workarounds that Biden could choose to take; however they are not all easy.
Lawmaking Changes Take Time
In fact, when Trump ran for President in 2016, he also vowed to update and change the Title IX regulations. However, the Department of Education did not release the new proposed rule until November 2018. That was nearly two years later! And then, the regulations had an 18-month period where schools and universities could weigh into the regulations (called a notice-and-comment period). The actual regulations weren't released until May 6, 2020, and schools had until August 14, 2020, to integrate the new policies into their student handbooks, codes of conduct, and so forth.
Although it is only November 2020 and has been just four months since the new guidance was in effect, there have already been several court cases challenging the rulings. In October, a judge threw out a case that the ACLU had brought in an attempt to block the new Title IX regulations.
All this to say, it won't be easy or fast for President-elect Biden to change the new Title IX regulations. He may end up releasing Interim Guidance, as a short-term solution. This is exactly what DeVos did in September 2017.
In the meantime, universities and colleges will need to follow the Department of Education's most recent guidance. They will at least need to do so until the inauguration; however, the compliance will most likely extend beyond then. In our next post, we'll look at some of Biden's potential approaches.
Experienced College Sexual Misconduct Advisor
If you or a loved one is facing college sexual misconduct charges or Title IX charges, you want to make sure you find an attorney-advisor who can assist you in navigating the complex process. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped thousands of students over the course of many years. Let him fight by your side, for your due process rights. Call today at 888.535.3686 or reach out to us online.