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President Joe Biden.
Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in any education program/institution that receives funding from the federal government. Photo credit: Flickr.

The Biden Administration's new proposed Title IX rule

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According to Higher Ed Dive, after a recent federal court decision that temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Education from combating sex-based discrimination, Title IX, may mean trouble for the Biden Administration. 

The new ruling favors predominantly Republican states that alleged the federal law banning sex-based discrimination infringed on their ability to govern.  

Based on the Title IX interpretation of gender identity and sexual orientation protection for students, transgender students would be allowed to use school restrooms and locker rooms of their choice — going against some Republican state laws. 

The Biden Administration is aware that the new ruling may affect it’s plans on regulating protections for gay and transgender students under Title IX, a proposal that was introduced last month. 

President Joe Biden’s campaign aimed to change current Title IX regulations that were put in place by former education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in August 2020. Instead of a judiciary-like method of live hearing with cross-examination by the accused student’s, in the new Biden’s plan colleges could pursue a hearing or a called single-investigator model, in which one official looks into allegations and renders a decision.  

Regarding the college's approach on this issue, Erin Butcher, an attorney at the law firm Bricker & Eckler, said she advises her clients to weigh whether to sign onto lawsuits. It depends on if they have the money or political capital to fight against state or federal rules, she added. 

Andrea Stagg, the director of consulting services at Grand River Solutions — which advises colleges on matters like Title IX and equity — said many aspects of the new ruling aren’t being discussed enough. With no details on the safeguard of pregnant students from discriminations or clear definition of who is considered a student, guidelines seem broad or difficult to achieve.  

The entire process of finalizing the rule should still take a couple of months. 

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