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Campus Department of Education Due Process Office for Civil Rights Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

Relentless Pressure on Colleges and Universities to End Campus ‘Kangaroo Courts’

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Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


Relentless Pressure on Colleges and Universities to End Campus ‘Kangaroo Courts’

WASHINGTON / August 18, 2022 – As the new academic year approaches, SAVE is urging school administrators to exercise greater oversight over their Title IX offices to bring an end to the notorious “Kangaroo Courts.” Several developments during the Summer months highlight the growing pressures on institutions to assure fairness in Title IX proceedings:

Judicial Deference: On June 2, Second Circuit Appellate Judge Jose Cabranes issued a concurrence that compared campus disciplinary committees to the infamous English Star Chambers and warned, “[T]hese threats to due process and academic freedom are matters of life and death for our great universities.” (1) The continued wave of Title IX lawsuits has eroded the long-standing notion of judicial deference to institutions of higher education.

State Legislation: On June 15, Louisiana Governor John Edwards signed the “Student Due Process and Protection Act” into law (2). The campus bill had been approved in both the House and the Senate without a single opposing vote. To date, 11 states have enacted legislation that mandate campus due process protections (3).

Presumption of Innocence: A national survey conducted in June for SAVE by YouGov found that 87% of respondents support a presumption of innocence for college disciplinary hearings (4).

Lawsuit: On July 20, Judge CJ Williams of the District Court of Northern Iowa handed down a decision against Fordt University that documented widespread procedural irregularities (5). The decision was one of the most sweeping Title IX rulings issued in the past decade.

DC Rally: An August 11 rally held in Washington, DC featured several presentations on the need for greater attention to campus fairness (6). Teresa Manning of the National Association of Scholars highlighted how campus due process rights “protect the lone individual up against powerful institutions like government and schools.” (7)

Student Enrollments: The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that “postsecondary institutions have lost nearly 1.3 million students since spring 2020.” (8) Negative media coverage of unconstitutional Title IX procedures is likely to worsen the problem of declining student enrollments, especially among male students.

This past week in Ithaca, New York, a person dressed as a kangaroo made an appearance on the campus of Cornell University. Sponsored by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, the kangaroo charged, “If you have a Title IX sexual misconduct complaint filed against you, chances are you will not get a fair hearing.” (9)

SAVE’s “Analysis of Judicial Decisions Affirming the 2020 Title IX Regulation” summarizes 175 Title IX decisions favorable to the accused student (10).