FIRE is excited to unveil the Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker, a collection of easily digestible case briefs summarizing the most important recent decisions affecting the procedural rights of students in campus judicial proceedings. We hope that the tracker will serve as a vital research tool for attorneys, journalists, and members of the public who want to learn more about students’ rights on campus.
In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that transformed the way colleges and universities adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct on campus, leading many schools to abandon critical due process protections for accused students. While the letter was officially rescinded in 2017, and new regulations are forthcoming from the Department of Education, its impact continues to be felt on campus. As a result, since April 2011, more than 500 accused students have filed lawsuits alleging that they were denied a fair process in campus judicial proceedings — including more than 70 suits filed so far in 2019.
Prior to this wave of litigation, judicial decisions about the procedural rights of students in campus proceedings were few and far between. Over the past eight years, however, as these cases have begun working their way through the courts, there have been hundreds of decisions affecting students’ procedural rights.
These rulings contain a wealth of useful information for lawyers, reporters, and anyone else who wants to keep on top of this rapidly developing area of the law. Until now, however, there has been no easy way to find and sort through all of these decisions. That is why FIRE created the Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker. Our new database of case briefs is searchable by a range of fields and keywords to allow users to find the cases that most directly relate to their research. It contains a range of cases affecting students’ procedural rights, from constitutional due process cases at public universities, to breach of contract and Title IX cases at private universities, and more.
The tracker is an evolving resource that will continue to be updated and expanded with both newly-decided and older cases, so please check back frequently.