Archives: Civil Rights

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The Latest on G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board

Given the Supreme Court’s vacatur and remand of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the contention of the parties now is over what the briefing schedule should be, and when oral argument should be held–whether at the court’s May 2017 sitting or the September sitting. The latest … Continue Reading

Argument Set For March 28, 2017 in Transgender Bathroom Case

Oral argument in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., No. 16-273,  will occur on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court will hear from counsel on two issues:  (1) If [the doctrine of Auer deference] is retained, should deference extend to an unpublished agency [U.S. Department of Education] letter … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Gloucester County, VA Transgender Bathroom Case

Last week the Supreme Court announced it will review the G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board (VA) decision–a case dealing with who gets to use what bathroom in a local high school.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that for purposes of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination, a student’s self-designated gender identity … Continue Reading

An Unfortunate Commentary on Charter Schools

As the editorial boards of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal have ably pointed out, the anti-charter resolution adopted this past weekend by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People represents an unfortunate commentary for inner city communities longing for better schools.  Why put up the roadblocks?  Why stifle … Continue Reading

Department of Education in Hot Seat Defending Another Administrative Procedure Act Lawsuit

Apart from defending Title IX lawsuits in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, and the District of Columbia based on its Dear Colleague Letters (transgender bathroom/locker room guidance and guidance announcing the preponderance of the evidence standard for campus sexual harassment and assault disciplinary proceedings), the U. S. Department of Education now is a defendant in a Title … Continue Reading

Preliminary Injunction Halts Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom/Locker Room Policy

On Sunday, August 21, 2016, a federal court in the northern district of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the Obama Administration’s highly controversial transgender bathroom/locker room guidance first-announced in the spring of this year.  The court’s decision is here. Significantly, the decision stated the U.S. Department of Education failed to follow Notice and … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Wesleyan University Joins Lawsuit Challenging Title IX Sexual Assault Guidance

Yesterday, Oklahoma Wesleyan University joined pending litigation in the District of Columbia–now titled John Doe and Oklahoma Wesleyan University v. Catherine H. Lhamon, et al., 1:16-cv-01158-RC–challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s controversial Title IX Sexual Misconduct Guidance issued on April 4, 2011 in a Dear Colleague Letter.  Plaintiffs contend the Department’s Office for Civil Rights violated … Continue Reading

Battle Royal Shaping Up Between NC and DOJ on Bathroom Access

Earlier today North Carolina and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed dueling lawsuits against each other asking a federal judge to determine rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (prohibits employment discrimination), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibits sex discrimination), and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 … Continue Reading

Association’s Draft Report Raises Questions about Due Process Under Title IX

Earlier today the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a draft report, The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX, raising questions about due process for the accused under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  While the draft report is much broader than a due process discussion, due process is one of the … Continue Reading

Title IX, Transgender Students, Locker Rooms and Bathrooms

On both the K-12 and higher education fronts, school districts and institutions of higher education continue to face Title IX lawsuits brought by transgender students or their parents over schools’ policies on bathroom and locker room use.  In the two most prominent cases, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board (Eastern District of Virginia) and Johnston … Continue Reading

Six Higher Education Title IX Sexual Misconduct Agreements Analyzed

During 2014, six universities–Tufts University, Virginia Military Institute, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Southern Methodist University and Harvard Law School–signed Title IX resolution agreements resolving sexual misconduct or sexual harassment complaints (or both) filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), and in one instance, a Title IX compliance review initiated … Continue Reading

Title IX Letter from Two Commissioners, U.S. Civil Rights Commission

In a very poignant letter (9 pages) to the Chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations’ Committees and Subcommittees, Commissioners Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights raise fundamental legal questions about actions of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education.   In a similar … Continue Reading

UT Files Merits Brief in Higher Ed Affirmative Action Case

The University of Texas at Austin has filed its brief on the merits in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.  UT’s brief defends its use of racial preferences in university admissions.  Interestingly, two former George W. Bush Administration appointees, Greg Garre (former Solicitor General) and James Ho (Office of Legal Counsel at DOJ), represent … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument in Higher Ed Affirmative Action Case

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin for Wednesday, October 10, 2012.  As you will recall, the issue in the case is whether the Supreme Court’s prior decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), permit the … Continue Reading

Charter School Replication and Expansion Grants Raise Questions

Charter School advocates should take a close look at today’s U. S. Department of Education Federal Register Notice announcing the FY2012 grant competition for the Replication and Expansion of High Quality Charter Schools.  Applications are due May 7, 2012.  Under the FY2012 appropriations law, Pub. L. No. 112-74, Division F, Title III, the Secretary is authorized … Continue Reading

Affirmative Action College Admissions Case to be Heard in October 2012 Term

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced (see p.6) it will hear the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action college admissions case during its October 2012 term. Justice Elena Kagan–the Solicitor General at the time the United States filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (March 2010)–has recused herself.  As noted in my … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Review Sought in University of Texas Affirmative Action Admissions Case

Those interested in college admissions, diversity, and affirmative action issues should watch closely the recently filed petition for certiorari review filed by Abigail Fisher with the Supreme Court of the United States.  Fisher seeks review of the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit permitting (an arguably expansive) use of … Continue Reading

Title IX Suit Filed Against ED

You will recall that I wrote last March about the controversy that was brewing over the application of Title IX’s “three-part test” to high school athletics.  (You can locate my post here.)  Now, the American Sports Council, formerly known as the College Sports Council, has filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Education over the issue.    In … Continue Reading

Another Title IX Controversy Brewing

Title IX’s seemingly endless controversies continue with no end in sight.  Last November, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed administrative complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights against twelve school districts across the country.  The gist of NWLC’s complaints is that the school districts are not providing opportunities for female … Continue Reading

Office for Civil Rights Offers New Guidance on Bullying

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education recently issued new guidance on bullying.  OCR notes that the purpose of its Dear Colleague is “to remind [school officials] .  .  .  that some student misconduct that falls under a school’s anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of … Continue Reading
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