Today’s executive order instructs the Department of Education to evaluate whether “suspending, revising, or rescinding” the recently enacted Title IX regulations is necessary to meet the new administration’s policy goals.
The order does not repeal the regulations, which have only been in effect since August. The regulations are the product of two years of notice and comment rulemaking as required by federal law and contain numerous good-faith compromises in response to comments from the public, victims’ rights advocates, educational institutions, and civil liberties groups like FIRE. Because of this robust participation from both the public and higher education stakeholders, these regulations will not be — and should not be — easily undone.
The regulations secured fundamental due process protections that were previously absent on too many campuses, such as the presumption of innocence, access to the evidence, and the right to ask questions of one’s accuser through an advisor. These basic American protections should not be controversial or partisan. If the Biden administration plans to rescind or replace these protections, questions must be asked: Why does the administration want to take away basic procedural protections that benefit all students in Title IX proceedings? Which provisions does the administration believe to be expendable?
FIRE will fight to preserve the regulations and the vital free speech and due process protections they contain. FIRE has been defending students’ rights for more than two decades. We’ll continue to do so, regardless of which administration is in the White House.