WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 13th, the Biden administration’s Department of Education announced plans to gut recently-enacted Title IX regulations that codify the obligation of schools to handle sexual misconduct claims fairly and without bias.

Earlier this year, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Department to review the regulations, which mandate a presumption of innocence, require schools to notify accused students of the specific allegations against them in a timely manner, and allow both parties an opportunity to tell their version of events to an impartial arbiter. In addition to requiring basic due process protections, the regulations state that colleges and universities must support survivors with appropriate accommodations, including course adjustments, schedule changes, counseling, no-contact orders, dorm room reassignments, and/or leaves of absence. 

The regulations, which took effect just six months ago, have not yet been fully tested, as university administrators dragged their feet in implementing new procedures, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IWF Senior Policy Analyst Inez Stepman said, “The current regulations balance protecting women from sexual misconduct with the critically-important American tradition of due process for the accused. Common sense protections like an impartial adjudicator, representation, and cross-examination through third parties do not harm women, but protect us all.” 

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, added, “Instead of reviewing regulations that were already vetted in a lengthy three year process that included extensive public input, the Department should focus its efforts on investigating whether colleges and universities are, in fact, providing due process. In particular, the Department should investigate whether schools that receive federal money continue to employ Inquisition-like disciplinary systems that deny the accused any meaningful opportunity to tell his or her side of the story.”

Read more about Title IX and due process on campus, HERE and HERE, and join Inez and Jennifer on Facebook this Thursday, April 15 at 5 p.m. ET for Episode 2 of At The Bar, a virtual happy hour conversation about due process on campus. 

For more information, contact Meghan Agostinelli at [email protected]

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Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.