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Louisiana Governor Edwards Signs Due Process Bill into Law

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Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


Louisiana Governor Edwards Signs Due Process Bill into Law, Setting the Stage for the 50th Anniversary of Title IX

WASHINGTON / June 23, 2022 – On Tuesday, Louisiana Governor John Edwards signed the “Student Due Process and Protection Act” into law (1). Louisiana joins with nine other states with campus due process laws: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, and North Dakota (2). The law sets the stage for a renewed focus of Title IX programs to end all forms of sex discrimination.

The new law provides the following due process protections for students attending public colleges and universities in Louisiana:

  1. Right to be informed of their rights.
  2. Right to receive notice of the alleged violation.
  3. Right to be informed of the evidence the institution used to make the charge.
  4. Presumption of innocence.
  5. Access to an administrative file that contains all non-privileged documents pertaining to the allegation.
  6. Elimination of conflicts of interest among counselors, investigators, institutional prosecutor, and adjudicators.
  7. Right to appeal.
  8. Right to legal counsel.
  9. Right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
  10. Private right of action against the institution to recover actual damages.

Exemplifying strong bipartisanship, House Bill 364 passed both the Louisiana House and the Senate without a single opposing vote in either chamber (3). The due process law, which takes effect on August 1, is generally consistent with the Title IX regulation that was promulgated by the Department of Education in 2020.

The Title IX law, originally enacted in 1972, now faces criticism that it has lost its focus on ending sex discrimination. SAVE’s Analysis of Judicial Decisions Affirming the 2020 Title IX Regulation identifies 43 judicial decisions against universities in which institutional sex bias against male students was highlighted (4).

In his recent concurrence against Cornell University, Appellate Judge Jose Cabranes issued a stern warning about the current state of due process on college campuses:

“I pause briefly to comment, in my own name, that, as alleged, this case describes deeply troubling aspects of contemporary university procedures to adjudicate complaints under Title IX and other closely related statutes. In many instances, these procedures signal a retreat from the foundational principle of due process, the erosion of which has been accompanied—to no one’s surprise—by a decline in modern universities’ protection of the open inquiry and academic freedom that has accounted for the vitality and success of American higher education.” (5)

As we enter the second 50 years of Title IX’s existence, institutional officials are encouraged to read and reflect upon Judge Cabranes’ prescient concurrence.