Blog

States Sue Trump Administration over Title IX Rollbacks

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

On June 4, attorneys general from 17 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia collectively filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over new rules that moderate certain provisions of Title IX for students at schools and universities.

The new rules, released by the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, essentially make it more difficult to prove alleged incidents of sexual harassment and/or assault, in part by requiring hearings for the accused instead of issuing summary judgments.

The lawsuit claims that the rule changes are not only a violation of Title IX itself, but would effectively provide fewer protections for students. “Without adequate justification or explanation,” write the plaintiffs, “the Rule strips away longstanding protections against sexual harassment in violation of Title IX's mandate to prevent and remedy sex discrimination, and in ways that conflict with other federal and state statutes and Supreme Court precedent.”

The state attorneys general aren't the only ones challenging these rule changes. The day before, on June 3, thirty-seven United States senators sent a letter to Betsy DeVos demanding that the new rules be rescinded. In the letter to DeVos, the senators assert the new rules would override the efforts of individual states to address harassment and assault incidents as well as disproportionately hurt marginalized students.

Nearly a month prior to the senators sending their letter, the ACLU filed a similar lawsuit in a Maryland District Court.

What the Rule Changes May Mean for Students

If upheld, these changes to Title IX protections will go into effect in August 2020 as the new school year gets underway. What may be the ramifications for students going to school next fall? Let's look at just a few:

· A narrower definition of “sexual harassment.” Alleged victims can only report conduct that is considered “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive”—possibly reducing the number of situations in which students might be faced with charges for simple misunderstandings.

· New “hearsay” rules require live witnesses and cross-examination—basically like a courtroom setting, placing more burden of proof on accusers and giving the accused a better chance of mounting a defense against false charges.

· Limits school responsibility strictly to campus. Schools wouldn't be responsible for incidents that occur during study abroad programs, off-campus housing or even online platforms that the school doesn't specifically control.

· Cases dismissed if victim/survivor leaves school. Schools would no longer be responsible to pursue discipline if the accuser chose to drop out for any reason.

While it remains to be seen whether the new rules will be upheld by the courts, these changes to the interpretation of Title IX may give students who have been accused a better opportunity to see justice prevail and protect their futures. If you are a student currently facing disciplinary action from a school under Title IX, the Lento Law Firm can help ensure your rights are protected. Call our office at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

footer-2.jpg

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu