Title IX and Procedural Fairness: Why Disciplined-Student Litigation Does Not Undermine the Role of Title IX in Campus Sexual Assault
Montana Law Review, Vol. 78, p. 71, 2017
39 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2017
Date Written: 2017
As a matter of civil rights, Title IX mandates that federally funded educational institutions address reports of sexual assault. Often disciplined-student plaintiffs argue unsuccessfully that the college or university’s decision to discipline them is tainted by “reverse” sex discrimination. This Article examines the recent spate of disciplined-student cases in an effort to harmonize Title IX compliance with the procedural rights of students accused of sexual assault. It provides a historical context for Title IX’s application to sexual assault on campuses and the requirements the law imposes on the educational institutions. Next, it describes the role Title IX plays in disciplined-student cases and how these plaintiffs have more success challenging disciplinary procedures and outcomes using due process, administrative law, and breach of contract claims. Finally, the Article argues that neither the fact of litigation by disciplined students nor the examples of their occasional success undermines Title IX and its application to sexual assault. Such litigation is not evidence of a problem with Title IX or a reason to withdraw universities’ responsibility to engage a prompt and equitable response to sexual assault.
Keywords: sex discrimination, reverse sex discrimination, education, Tittle IX, sex crimes, discrimination in education
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