Biden Orders Review of Trump Policy Related to Campus Sexual Assaults
President Biden signed an executive order on Monday directing his administration to review policies related to how schools handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and he singled out for possible changes a Trump administration regulation that bolsters protections for those accused of sexual misconduct.
The order requires an Education Department and Justice Department review of existing policies within 100 days. It says the review should weigh whether the policies are consistent with the Biden administration’s mandate that students shouldn’t face discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, or in the form of sexual harassment or sexual assault. It calls on the education secretary to suspend, revise or rescind policies that don’t meet that standard.
The Trump administration Title IX regulation mentioned in the executive order bolsters protections for those accused of misconduct and gives schools more flexibility in which standard of evidence they use to determine guilt. It allows both the accused and accuser to submit evidence and participate in cross-examination in live proceedings, and both parties can also appeal a school’s ruling.
The Trump administration said when the rule was completed in May 2020 that it was aimed at creating a transparent, fair process. Victims-rights advocates say the provision for cross-examinations could traumatize those alleging misconduct and potentially keep them from filing complaints.