ACE, Higher Ed Groups Submit Briefs in Support of Putting Compliance Deadline for Title IX Regulations on Hold
June 26, 2020

ACE and other higher education associations have submitted amicus briefs in two federal court cases seeking a delay in the effective date of the final Title IX regulations.

The Department of Education (ED) issued its new regulations on Title IX sexual assault May 6, with an effective date of Aug. 14. Campuses have been scrambling to get ready, despite the challenges of doing so with little time and few staff members working on campus during the pandemic. ACE and others in the higher education community have told ED and other stakeholders that in addition to significant concerns about the regulations themselves, choosing this moment to impose the longest, most complex regulations the agency has ever issued reflects appallingly poor judgment. ED’s year-and-a-half rulemaking process culminated in a 600,000-word Federal Register notice last month.

On June 4, attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, substantively challenging the new regulations, as well as the process by which they were issued. Their complaint also signaled that they would be asking the court to order that the effective date of the regulations be put on hold until the legal challenge is fully considered. On Tuesday, June 23, the attorneys general filed a motion with the court focused specifically on delaying the Aug. 14 effective date. In anticipation, ACE had prepared an amicus brief, and late Wednesday, ACE and 24 other higher education associations submitted that brief in support of the motion.

Independent of the merits of the challenges to the new regulations, the brief explains the imminent and irreparable harms to colleges and universities if the compliance deadline is not stayed. In prior letters to ED, ACE and other associations had asked for such a deferral to enable sensible planning and adoption of campus processes and procedures.

This lawsuit in the District of Columbia is one of four that have been filed during the last month challenging the new Title IX regulations. Late Thursday the New York attorney general also filed a motion in its case in federal court in Manhattan seeking to block the Aug. 14 effective date. This afternoon ACE and the other 24 associations submitted an amicus brief supporting that request, as well.

The New York attorney general’s brief opens with a reference to ACE President Ted Mitchell’s May 6 statement that criticized both the substance of the final regulations and the Aug. 14 effective date: “Under current conditions—in which campuses are closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching and learning are happening remotely, and already constrained school budgets are being further depressed by the diversion of resources to the pandemic response—the mid-August effective date, as one organization put it, ‘is as cruel as it is counter-productive.’” (Noting in the citation that the quote comes from Mitchell’s statement.)


Resources on the Department of Education's Final Title IX Regulation

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