Judicial Deference and Sexual Discrimination in the University
37 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2000
Tenure discrimination plaintiffs confront a judiciary that regularly defers to the administrative judgments of universities. Strangely, however, student plaintiffs suing under Title IX do not confront the same deferential posture. This occurs even when the student plaintiffs are suing their professors over classroom speech and academic freedom is at stake. After presenting the evidence of an asymmetrical application of judicial deference to the university, the Article critiques the Supreme Court’s decision in Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District to weaken the remedial powers of Title IX relative to Title VII. The Article then explores the arguments for and against judicial deference in the academic setting and concludes by offering some suggestion for evaluating academic gender discrimination suits and applying the deference doctrine uniformly.
Keywords: Title VII, Title IX, Tenure, Universities, Discrimination, Gebser, Academic Freedom
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