Fall Update from DFI

November 2, 2022

The fall season finds the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) in a flurry of activity—no pre-holiday slump here. From celebrating our one-year anniversary and hosting our first annual Education Law and Policy Conference to fighting implementation of Biden’s illegal student loan cancellation scheme and Title IX rewrite, we’ve got strong momentum heading into DFI’s second year.

BUILDING COALITIONS: FIRST ANNUAL EDUCATION LAW AND POLICY CONFERENCE

DFI and the Federalist Society recently hosted their inaugural Education Law and Policy Conference to debate the most pressing issues facing education.  Legal and policy experts in K-12, Higher Education, and Civil Rights discussed the proper role of the federal government in education, the importance of education freedom, fixes for the Title IV student loan program, and the Biden Administration’s efforts to use Title IX and Title VI to advance a radical cultural agenda.  Two former Cabinet Secretaries—U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and two-time U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr—gave keynote addresses.  If you couldn’t attend in person, be sure to check out the highlight video.  You can listen to each of the sessions in their entirety, including the two keynote addresses, here.

FIGHTING ABUSE OF POWER: CHALLENGING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S ILLEGAL STUDENT LOAN CANCELLATION

The Biden administration’s abuse of power in seeking to cancel over $430 billion in student loans to buy political favors is unconstitutional and illegal. DFI is also highly concerned that the administration, in its rush to cancel loans before Election Day, has created opportunities for gross levels of waste, fraud, and abuse. We are supporting the challenges to his unlawful and destructive scheme, and we’ve called on the U.S. Department of Education Inspector General to request the Education Department pause implementation of President Biden’s illegal student loan cancellation program until safeguards are put in place to prevent fraud regarding income eligibility. You can read our letter to the IG here.

Under the current program, students are eligible for Federal student loan cancellation if they meet certain income eligibility requirements, yet by ED’s own admission, its system for approving loan cancellation applications relies largely on fraud-prone self-certification of income.

“We’re talking about cancelling more than $430 billion in debt owed to the taxpayers based on little more than pinky promises from borrowers that they qualify for loan forgiveness,” said DFI’s President and Co-Founder Bob Eitel when the letter was released. That’s why DFI has demanded a pause in implementation unless and until safeguards are put in place to protect taxpayers from fraudulent applications.

DFI’s recent action on this issue garnered media attention, and we’ll continue our fight to stop implementation of this illegal and unfair executive overreach.   

DEFENDING CONSERVATIVE VALUES: FIGHTING BIDEN’S TITLE IX RE-WRITE

DFI and its coalition partners sounded the alarm on the Biden administration’s efforts to rewrite Title IX to push “woke” policies in K-12 and postsecondary education. Because of this hard work, the Biden Education Department’s Title IX regulatory proposal received over 240,000 public comments—a record for the Education Department—including DFI’s 213-page public comment. The Biden Administration is distorting and weaponizing this law by, for example–

  • By forcing women and girls to compete against men and boys in sports
  • Pushing parents out of classrooms
  • Eliminating due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct
  • Crushing free speech on campus
  • Eroding religious liberty for students and faith-based schools

DFI will remain focused on Title IX and alert you to any changes as the administration works to publish a final rule, which will most likely occur in 2023.  

DFI OUT AND ABOUT

DFI continues to be called upon to lend its expertise at conferences across the country.  On October 21, Bob presented federal policy fixes for “Reversing the Ideological Capture of Universities” at a conference sponsored by the Salem Center for Policy at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas; Hillsdale College Academy for Science & Freedom; and Global Liberty Institute in Washington, DC. He was off to Boston the next week to speak on Title IX at the “Diversity of Thought Conference” organized by Parents Unite.   

DFI IN THE NEWS

DFI’s legal and policy experts continue to make waves in the press.  Here’s a sampling of some of the most recent articles and interviews:

DFI RECENT PUBLICATIONS OF NOTE

As we head into our second year, we have recommitted ourselves to our mission to defend and advance freedom and opportunity for every American and to protect the civil and constitutional rights of Americans at school and work. We couldn’t do any of this important work without your support.  Thank you for all you do to keep us going!