[Live Podcast] The New Title IX Rules

August 7, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET

Dial 888-752-3232 at 12:00 PM ET to join.

In 2017 the Department of Education withdrew the Obama administration’s guidance documents on Title IX sexual harassment. The next year it issued a notice of proposed rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. The department received more than 124,000 comments on the proposal and held meetings with many interested parties. In May, the Department released its new rules – the first such rulemaking on a major Title IX issue since 1975.

The new rules require colleges to use more robust procedures when adjudicating student-on-student allegations of sexual assault, including by using a live hearing where representatives of each side can cross-examine adverse witnesses. The rules also narrow the definition of sexual harassment cases that schools must address under Title IX, and limit university liability for off-campus events.

Lawsuits from blue-state Attorneys General and activist groups hope to block all or part of the rules. Three of these lawsuits have sought preliminary injunctions, on grounds that the rules will make it harder to eradicate sexual harassment on campus. These legal challenges also have minimized concerns that colleges currently deny accused students a meaningful chance to defend themselves.

Civil liberties advocates have long advocated a fairer approach to Title IX adjudications, but they recently gained important support in the form of briefs backing the new regulations filed by 15 states, including Texas and Florida. These red and purple states argued that Obama-era policies “trampled the rights of students and created a false choice: either combat sexual harassment or protect constitutional liberties. We propose a different option: do both.”

This live podcast will discuss and analyze what this new rulemaking means for students, schools, potential legal challenges, and future administrations.

KC Johnson

Professor of History

Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center

Stuart S. Taylor, Jr.

Freelance Journalist and Author

Linda Chavez


Center for Equal Opportunity