Biden’s Education Department on July 20, 2021 issued new guidelines
for how colleges should investigate sexual misconduct under Title IX.
The Biden administration has set forth new guidelines under the Trump Title
IX regulations, which took effect a year ago. The new guidelines are a
stopgap measure, indicating how federal officials will enforce the anti-discrimination
law, while the department goes through
the lengthy process of reviewing and revising the regulations.
The Trump-era Title IX rules, championed by former Education Secretary
Betsy DeVos, added protections for students accused of sexual misconduct,
like mandatory live hearings with cross-examinations. The DeVos rules
have been criticized by victims’ advocates who say they let colleges
off the hook for not taking sexual misconduct seriously. President Biden,
who led a crusade against campus rape as vice president, said during his
presidential campaign that he wanted to overhaul the regulations.
“Due process is not something you politically overhaul”, said
Brad Koffel, an Ohio Title IX defense attorney who specializes in sexual
assault defense in Columbus, Ohio. Koffel added, “live cross-examination
has proven to be the most effective method of arriving at the truth of
a dispute since ancient Greece. Even a discussion of eliminating that
The Biden administration is encouraging public universities to investigate
incidents that don’t qualify as “sexual harassment”
if the harassment is “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive
that it effectively denies a person equal access” to education.
“This falls so far outside of Title IX I have no idea who is in
the room when they are coming up with these guidelines” added Koffel.
Also, the Biden administration seems to deputize campus administrators
to conduct off-campus crime as well. Attorney Koffel further responded,
“This is an affront to due process as well as local detectives who
have no financial interest in complying with government guidelines to
protect government funding. Social workers are not criminal detectives.”
If a student is a “threat to others” the university can summarily
remove the accused student from campus. “Again, so much for due
process and the presumption of innocence. Also, who is not ‘threatened’
on an American campus right now? It seems like we have a generation of
young people who get triggered by words, let alone conduct. This is a
slippery slope of epic proportions.”
Interestingly, one of the more unusual aspects that the Biden left alone
is that if a person does not testify live, their prior statements cannot
be considered by the university.