Left-Wing Groups Push Biden Ed Department to Upend Trump Campus Sex Harassment Due Process Rules

In this March 14, 2019, file photo students walk on the Stanford University campus in Sant
AP Photo/Ben Margot

The Biden Education Department announced Friday it will begin the rulemaking process for overturning the Trump administration’s Title IX rule on campus sexual harassment in April, one month earlier than originally planned.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said in a statement:

Today’s step reflects the Department’s commitment to work as speedily as possible toward appropriate and effective regulation in recognition of the importance of ensuring equal access to education for all students and addressing the threat to equal access posed by all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.

The one-month earlier time frame, however, is still not sufficient for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and 115 other left-wing groups seeking to rescind the Trump administration’s rule that emphasized due process rights for students accused of sexual harassment as well as protections for those claiming to be victims.

“This is only one month earlier than the previous Unified Agenda schedule, despite sustained calls from survivor advocates for speedier action to restore robust protections against sexual harassment in schools,” complained a statement at NWLC.

NWLC and the other groups sent a letter in September to Education Department Secretary Miguel Cardona and Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Suzanne Goldberg, begging the Biden administration “to take swift, meaningful action to protect students from sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and sex-based stalking.”

“We are deeply concerned by the Department’s plan to issue a proposed Title IX rule months later, in May 2022,” the letter continued, adding:

We recall that the Trump Title IX final rule took nearly 21 months to go into effect from the time that changes to the Title IX rule were first proposed. If the Department follows a similar timeline with the forthcoming Title IX rule, we fear that students will continue to be harmed by the Trump rule until February 2024—more than two school years from now and more than three years into the current administration.

“As the new school year starts, we brace for an unprecedented increase in the number of students experiencing sexual assault and other sex-based harassment,” the letter stated, referencing an anticipated “Double Red Zone” of campus sex assaults in the period between students’ arrival on campus and Thanksgiving break due to a return to in-person classes.

Trump-era Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Education Department Candice Jackson tweeted in response to the announcement the Biden administration’s “two goals” are to 1) weaken free speech & due process protections used by schools to discipline for “sexual harassment” (which includes talking about sex/gender) … and 2) … cover “gender identity discrimination” under Title IX.

Jackson warned:

Title IX regulations will be more binding than the current Biden Executive Order. Their plan is to make refusing to play pronoun games, and campaigning for women-only sports/spaces, a Title IX Sexual Harassment violation that can get violators expelled from school.

“US ED plans to release proposed regulations in April 2022,” she added. “Those will be open to public comment so plan now for how to urge ED to center *sex* under Title IX & protect everyone’s rights not to believe in gender identity.”

Controversial leftist activist Lhamon, who held the same position during the Obama administration, was confirmed in October only after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the Senate.

It was Lhamon who issued the Obama-era Title IX guidance that placed cases involving alleged campus sexual assaults in the hands of college administrators who held what many referred to as “kangaroo courts” as they denied due process rights to accused students.

The Trump administration rescinded that guidance in 2018.

Lhamon then criticized the new Trump-era guidelines in May 2020, asserting on Twitter former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos “presides over taking us back to the bad old days, that predate my birth, when it was permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity.”

In addition, Lhamon helped draft the 2016 guidance to schools directing them to allow transgender students to use bathroom and locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity, not biological sex.

The left-wing activist also signed off on guidance in 2014 that told schools they could be investigated for violating federal civil rights law for racial disparities in their discipline decisions.



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