BLOG: Biden Revives the Title IX Menace

July 20, 2022

Biden and the progressives are using the Title IX regulatory process as a vehicle for radical cultural and social change in American society.

In pop culture and in life, good sequels tend to be the exception, not the rule. And so it is with federal regulations.

Earlier this month, President Biden’s Education Department proposed new Title IX regulations. The new regulations are meant to counter the groundbreaking regulations promulgated in 2020 by then–secretary of education Betsy DeVos. Currently the law of the land until ED accepts and considers public comments and publishes final regulations (likely to occur in 2023), the DeVos regulations include a slew of critically important reforms. For starters, unlike the prior regime enforced by the Obama administration, the DeVos regulations let educational institutions know exactly what the law requires when responding to complaints of sexual harassment. They also direct schools to provide students suffering from sexual harassment with supportive measures if requested, even if the student doesn’t want to file a formal Title IX complaint.

Of great consequence to free speech and academic freedom in higher education, the DeVos regulations also provide a clear definition of sexual harassment based on Supreme Court case law. No more are course readings, academic debate, or an idle comment in class the basis of discipline under Title IX’s sexual-harassment regime. The regulations also prohibit the “single investigator” model, where a single Title IX coordinator acts as the Grand Inquisitor, taking on the roles of police, prosecutor, judge, and jury to investigate, hear, and decide complaints of sexual harassment. To ensure fairness in Title IX proceedings, the DeVos regulations mandate basic due-process protections, such as access for accused students to evidence developed in the investigation, the right to an adviser during any proceedings, and, for postsecondary institutions, live hearings with cross-examination by each party’s adviser. In existence for barely two years, the DeVos regulations balance the needs of students suffering from sexual harassment with those accused of such conduct. They are watershed reforms.

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Robert S. Eitel, DFI Cofounder and President