Title IX Hearings End Up Abusing Due Process in Pursuit of Equity


Koffel Brininger Nesbitt has witnessed far too many abuses of due process in Title IX hearings on college campuses, especially egregious considering that the intent of Title IX is to promote equal protection and fairness.

Increasingly obvious over the past few years is the collegiate focus on Title IX – equal protection under the law. Many campuses now employ Title IX officers to ensure higher education institutions are responding in line with Title IX to complaints of gender inequality, in particular, gender inequity as it relates to sexual assault accusations.

While the intention may be to promote fairness under the law, many Title IX hearings on college campuses end up robbing those accused of sexual misconduct of their due process under the law. Koffel Brininger Nesbitt has had to staff up in order to meet the growing demand of representing students, typically young men, who are getting yanked into these “Star Chamber” hearings.

“These college students are responsible men and women, and should be expected to be responsible for their own actions,” commented Attorney Brad Koffel. “That goes for the accused and the accusers.”

When administrative institutions take on responsibilities that should belong to the court, it robs the accused of their full due process rights, namely, to have their cases decided by an actual judge and jury, not a Title IX officer or someone else employed by a higher education institution.

“The hypocrisy is deafening,” added Koffel. “These hearings are being conducted within the bounds of America’s colleges and universities, institutions that historically are the first to protest violations of due process and equal protection.”

More About Title IX

Enacted in 1972, Title IX attempted to bar gender discrimination in federally funded educational programs. Title IX was popularized as the law that could prevent gender inequality in athletics and hiring faculty. It wasn’t until 2011 that Title IX was applied to the way universities handle sexual assault allegations. Since the shift, colleges and universities across the nation are spending more on ensuring Title IX compliance than ever before.

Fickle Collegiate Sexual Assault Policies

Vague sexual assault policies that differ from campus to campus also no doubt have led to the uptick in misconduct allegations and subsequent Title IX hearings. Some campuses have adopted affirmative consent rules that require an audible “yes” before the first act of intimacy with an additional required “yes” for every step that commences after that. Other colleges have adopted more vague policy barring “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” Many students feel that their only sure option to avoid controversy is not to date at all.

Both the accused and the accusers are men and women who can reasonably be held responsible for their own actions. When accusations like these occur, and they have been occurring at an increasing rate, our firm springs into action to represent the accused in Title IX hearings. Sadly, we have witnessed far too many abuses of due process in this arena.

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