The Supreme Court is set to hear a court case about bathroom access. A central issue is judicial deference to the positions of agencies under the President’s control. The Court is supposed to decide whether OCR’s interpretation of the phrase “on the basis of sex” is entitled to judicial deference. If so, the Court would effectively convert the executive agency’s informally expressed views into the law of the land and a letter from an OCR bureaucrat becomes law…The Court should take the occasion to say that a mere letter, whatever its content, does not merit judicial deference, precisely because it bypasses the process of public input that we should want the executive branch to adopt in forming views on important policies.
newyorker.com By Jeannie Suk Gersen
Monthly Archives: December 2016
Complaints and Rulings for Drake University, Washington State University and University of Cincinnati…A complaint filed last week against Drake University in Iowa includes an intriguing argument. Like most such suits against private universities, it claims that Drake breached its contract with the student-plaintiff and discriminated against him on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX. But in addition, it argues that the university was-by virtue of coercive federal pressure-a state actor at the time of the incident, and as such, deprived the plaintiff of his constitutional due process rights.
thefire.org By Samantha Harris
John Doe filed a civil action against Williams College for Title IX violations. In addition, the plaintiff and his lawyer, Stacey Elin Rossi, claim that the College failed to comply with the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, the Massachusetts Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act and the right to privacy under FERPA. It also asserts that the College did not follow principles of “good faith, fair dealing, due process and fundamental fairness” and committed “negligence, assault and defamation.” Doe seeks damages resulting from harmful actions by the College that resulted in him not receiving his degree and have produced consequences to his academic and career future, as well as earning potential and reputation.
williamsrecord.com by Neena Patel
Republicans have promoted U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina to lead the House education and workforce committee next year. Rep. Foxx has expressed concern about Office for Civil Rights overreach. She frequently opposed regulations and proposals from President Barack Obama’s administration… From Rep. Foxx’s mouth to God’s ears: “I think you’ll see us do everything we can to roll back those rules and regulations. ”
charlotteobserver.com By Anna Douglas
Rulings for Lynn University, UC San Diego, and William Paterson University…Universities increasingly rely heavily on investigators rather than hearings to determine responsibility in sexual misconduct cases. The dangers of combining in a single individual the power to investigate, prosecute, and convict, with little effective power of review, are obvious. No matter how well-intentioned, such a person may have preconceptions and biases, may make mistakes, and may reach premature conclusions. These “single investigator” systems raise significant due process concerns, articulated perfectly by Judge Dennis Saylor in the Doe v. Brandeis decision:
thefire.org By Samantha Harris
Brown University botched a sexual-assault hearing, treating an accused male student unfairly, a U.S. District Court ruled. Court records illustrate how ill-equipped the Title IX panel was to make such a major decision. With as few as five hours of training, they make determinations that can ruin someone’s life and reputation. John Doe claimed the accusations against him were fabricated, offering the investigator a witness who claimed to have heard Ann Roe and a friend conspiring to get him in trouble. The investigator decided not to get text messages between Roe and her friend, but told the Title IX panel that there was “insufficient evidence” to support Doe’s conspiracy claim. That was “particularly problematic,” the district court decided, “given that she had refused to ask for evidence that might have proven it so and been exculpatory to Doe.”
The biggest problem with Title IX enforcement? Balance. Title IX has always struggled between finding the proper balance and now it’s gone the other way. Every complaint is deemed fact, and every accused is presumed guilty. There needs to be a balance between the complainant and the accused. It’s truly about a fair process for both sides but now there is an imbalance in cases that treats men unfairly. This isn’t about male and female, it could be male on male, female on female, female on male. T9 lawyer Alan Sash.
thetab.com By Harry Shukman
Clark University has done male students a service. Because the University has watered down the definition of rape so much, male students know not to apply here. If you do attend this University, it’s a pretty good bet you will be falsely accused. And sadly once accused, Title IX has pre-determined your guilt regardless of your evidence of innocence. With Clark’s definition of rape, the net is cast to catch innocent young men.
theblaze.com By Kaitlyn Schallhorn
washingtonpost.com By Eugene Volokh
Wolfgang Ballinger was a junior at Cornell when he was arrested on charges of attempted rape. Only arrested, and not convicted, Cornell suspended Ballinger, banned him from campus, and placed Psi Upsilon- the frat he was president of- on interim suspension. Ballinger’s attorney Sarah Wesley, paints a dark picture of police mishandling the investigation, and claims there are “serious questions of credibility with respect to the ‘victim.’” Ms. Wesley likened Ballinger’s case to the now-discredited Rolling Stone story.
thetab.com By Harry Shukman
This is a big case for the state of Washington. Student Mr. Arishi challenged his expulsion from Washington State University’s (WSU’s) doctoral program in Education, claiming the university failed to afford him a full adjudicative proceeding required by the Washington Administrative Procedure Act. The Court of Appeals agreed. “We reverse the superior court and the underlying agency order, award Mr. Arishi reasonable attorney fees, and remand for a full adjudication.” With this ruling, people accused of sex offenses on college campuses get a full hearing and are allowed to have an attorney speak and question the accuser. This decision is based on Washington law, and will not affect cases in other jurisdictions.
seattletimes.com By Katherine Long