Betsy DeVos

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Issues New Title IX Rules To Protect Free Speech, Due Process for Accused Students

"Nothing Betsy DeVos has done since she took office will have a more lasting effect on people's lives than this."


On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally announced the new rules related to Title IX—the federal statute that governs sexual misconduct in schools—thus completing a process that began more than a year ago, when the government first unveiled its proposed changes.

The new rules aim to protect victims of sexual misconduct while also establishing fairer procedures for the accused. The department believes the new rules will "balance the scales of justice on campuses across America," a Department of Education spokesperson said during today's press briefing.

Justin Dillon, an attorney with the firm KaiserDillon who specializes in campus misconduct adjudication, hailed the new rules as tremendously well thought out.

"Nothing Betsy DeVos has done since she took office will have a more lasting effect on people's lives than this," Dillon tells Reason. "It's frankly inspiring to see how hard she and her staff have worked to get these regulations done and get them right."

The new rules are similar to what the Department of Education proposed in November 2018. Most notably, the government has abolished the single-investigator model, which previously permitted a sole university official to investigate an accusation of misconduct, decide which evidence to consider, and produce a report recommending an outcome. Under the new rules, the final decision maker must be a different person than the investigator, and a finding of responsibility can only be rendered after a hearing in which a representative for the accused is able to pose questions to the accuser—i.e., cross-examination.

Importantly, the new rules narrow the scope of actionable sexual harassment to exclude conduct that ought to be protected under the First Amendment. Obama-era guidance had defined sexual harassment as "any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature." The new rules keep this definition but add that the conduct must be offensive to a reasonable person, severe, and pervasive. In practice, this should mean that schools will no longer initiate Title IX investigations that impugn free speech.

"This new rule strikes a powerful blow against campus censorship," said a Department of Education spokesperson. "Campus free speech must not be sacrificed in the misguided pursuit of any other value."

The new rules will also end the pernicious practice of universities initiating Title IX investigations in cases where the alleged victims are not interested in this course of action. Under previous guidance, any university official who became aware of a potential Title IX issue had to report it, thus triggering an investigation. Under the new guidance, school employees should make the Title IX office aware of potential issues, which will prompt these officials to reach out and offer support to victims. But a formal complaint that results in adjudication can only be initiated by the victim or their parents/legal guardians. This approach gives agency to victims and prevents schools from taking actions contrary to their wishes.

Nevertheless, victims' rights advocates intend to fight the new rules in court. Catherine Lhamon, current chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the former Obama administration official who presided over the changes that compromised due process, slammed the reforms as "taking us back to the bad old days, that predate my birth, when it was permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity." That's a gross misrepresentation of what DeVos has done, though not an unexpected one, given how irresponsibly activists and members of the media have characterized DeVos's work.

It remains to be seen whether colleges and universities will carefully follow the new rules—much is uncertain about the future of higher education right now. Nevertheless, today is a big day for the restoration of basic due process and free speech rights in schools.

The new rules, which take effect in August, are available here.

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  1. I’m skeptical of the long-term effectiveness of this change. As Mrs. DeVos just proved, any change implemented in regulation by one administration can be overturned with the stroke of a pen by the next. The only way these changes can be expected to endure is if they are enshrined in legislation by Congress. Is there any senator or congressman who has the courage to write such a bill?

    1. While these rules are a needed change, I must question why the executive branch is basically legislating. These are laws defining criminal acts, how criminal acts must be prosecuted, and by who, and what civil rights the accused has access to. It’s nuts.

      I mean, all the administration needs to do is issue a letter and a whole body of law just turns upside down.

      1. Because the legislation passed allows forbthebeexcutive to define terms and procedures.

        It has been the trend since well before Obamacare

        1. Since about 1934?

      2. These are not criminal prosecutions. they’re star chambers where a conviction means expulsion from school, not imprisonment. Expulsion can be a devastating punishment however, so due process should be the basis upon which any such process is built. The Obama administration’s lightweights instead based their policy on #MeToo.

      3. Because the legislature is a bunch of long-term limited cowards that like comfy jobs until they drop dead?

        1. Stupid auto correct! Non- term limited

      4. As someone else noted, these were administrative changes that involved expulsion from school, rather than criminal prosecution. On the other hand, Obama did issue an executive order for the border patrol to ignore existing immigration laws that did carry criminal penalties.

      5. It’s the conditions to receive Federal funding which all colleges except Hillsdale and Grove City college do. It started with the GI Bill in the 1940s when colleges started receiving Federal money, and now they can’t live without it.

    2. This should be more durable than most of the Obama pen and phone edicts as it is rulemaking following the adminstrative procedures act. In contrast, the Obama rules took the form of a “dear collegue” letter.

      Of course, the activists have all decried following existing procedures when it does something they don’t like.

    3. I recommend a Constitutional amendment. “The right for douchebag frat boys to date rape shall not be infringed.”

      1. Which is a total misrepresentation of what this order does. But you already know that, and just thought you comment would be clever.

        1. I don’t spend too much time worrying about grabby frat boys who haven’t matured emotionally or sexually enough to know how to act around women. Do you?

          1. If this was an actual problem you might have a point. But you are just offering empty tropes and misrepresentations. In other words relying on the same disingenuous nonsense that the left always peddles in. You have to demonize anyone who disagrees with you because you lack critical thinking skills.

            1. What he/she/it fails to realize is that if “grubby fraternity boys” can be denied basic civil rights, he/she/it can be as well.

              Does American Socialist want to go back to the days of Klan lynchings?

          2. American Socialist
            May.6.2020 at 3:45 pm
            “I don’t spend too much time worrying about grabby frat boys who haven’t matured emotionally or sexually enough to know how to act around women….”

            Interesting. You somehow avoid your own company.

          3. No, but that’s because we’re not creepy fucking rapists who take on the Male NeoFeminist mask to project, like you are.

      2. Your response is as insightful as you are……………..

      3. At least we know what a hopeless fascist you are. No due process for the unwoke.

      4. Already have one — it’s called the 14th Amendment’s “due process of law” clause.

      5. We must instead enshrine the right of obese, pink-haired Marxist-Feminist cunts nobody wants to so much as look at to falsely accuse whomever they want of rape and immediately be plastered all over the Rolling Stone for it:

    4. It’s not even that — OCR has a regional office in each of the Federal Circuits, and she doesn’t have control over the tenured bureaucrats running them. They will pay lip service to her and then write everything back into their local field manuals and nothing will change.

      Nothing will change until there are new people in the regional offices….

  2. Here’s where the Left comes out strongly against Free Speech.

    1. You are a bit late JW; the left has been against free speech for more than half a century.

      1. They’ve been against free speech since Marx, if not before.


        1. No, they aren’t against free speech, but they draw the line at violence.

          But in their view their violence is no free speech, and the Right’s free speech is by definition violence.

          1. So they’re against free speech. Duh.


      2. The left has been against free speech only for “reactionaries”, i.e., everybody who disagrees with the left.

        As long as you agree with them, you can speak freely and without repercussions.

    2. Don’t forget due process. The Left hates that too.

      1. It’s like the rest of the Constitution; just gets in the way of progress.

  3. I assume all of this will be suspended until C19 is fully and completely eradicated? For the children, of course.

    1. The number of campuses where students even *have* the chance to rape each other has been reduced.

      The phrase “rape each other” reminds me of those cases where both students are drunk off their asses and can’t coherently give consent. Technically, aren’t they both rapists and victims simultaneously?

      1. The phrase “rape each other” reminds me of the laws of my home state of Wisconsin, where sexual relations with someone under the age of 18 is considered child abuse, regardless of how old the person having the sex is. Two 16-year-olds caught having sex can both be — and sometimes are — charged with committing child abuse. Think about all of the future career ramifications a child abuse conviction can have.

        1. Which is just absurd, the party of science never heard of hormones.

      2. The phrase “rape each other” reminds me of those cases where both students are drunk off their asses and can’t coherently give consent. Technically, aren’t they both rapists and victims simultaneously?

        “Duh, that’s the idea.” early 20s, pre-wed Mr. and Mrs. Casual.

      3. No, of course not. Surely you know how it works? Alcohol diminishes the agency of women and enhances the agency of men. So in any situation where both participants in a sex act have been drinking, the man is a rapist and the woman is a victim. It’s like you’ve never taken a gender studies course.

    2. universal virus vaccine. go!

  4. Along time coming. DeVos has become is one of the rare good results of the Trump Administration.

    1. Letting all of those people out of prison and cutting all of those regulations the tyrannical bastard.

      1. I’m sure the world would be a much better place if the candidate chosen and actively/criminally supported by the intelligence community to lead the country had won the election.

    2. Amen to that.

  5. A blow against tyranny. Lets hope it’s not temporary.

  6. Ugh, the Drumpf Regime won’t stop turning this country into The Handmaid’s Tale. “Preserving due process” is really just code for promoting RAPE CULTURE.


    1. Let Brain-Damaged Biden know, ok? #BelieveWomen

    2. #BelieveWomenunlesstheyaccusetheDemcraticcandidate

    3. Amsoc beat you to it. Proving once again you can’t actually parody the left.

  7. “taking us back to the bad old days, that predate my birth, when it was permissible to rape and sexually harass students with impunity.”

    Wikipedia says she was born in 1971.

    So during the 60s, when students were protesting war and injustice and so on, they had a cause they were neglecting – right on their own campuses – legalized rape!

    1. Sure I remember college in the Sixties. The college application for men noted that “you may be expected to rape women with impunity while on campus.” For women, it read “expect to be raped on campus and see the college admin. stand by and allow it.” And parents were lining up in droves to sign their kids up.

    2. Listening to some people on the left talk about the way America was before Barack Obama was elected, you’d think there never was a civil rights movement, never a gay rights movement, or any white person who supported the left on those issues before 2008.

      It’s actually extremely offensive to all the people who fought for and cared about those issues before then. Never mind the Freedom Riders or the gay rights people of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Nobody white ever cared about any of that stuff until the Millenials came along?

      Talk about white-washing history!

      1. “or any white person who supported the left on those issues before 2008” — excepting Hillary, of course.

      2. But what battles will they fight if not for those that were waged and won 60 years ago?

      3. Hundreds of thousands of white males lost their lives on the battlefield fighting to end slavery. Most of the country never had slavery, and most people in the country are descendants of immigrants who came after the civil war.

        None of that matters to the left: your guilt is determined by your skin color.

    3. So during the 60s, when students were protesting war and injustice and so on, they had a cause they were neglecting – right on their own campuses – legalized rape!

      Women were being forced to burn their bras and support ideas like the ‘free love’ movement against their will! The 60s make so much more sense now… wait, no they don’t.

    4. That comment is near one of the most outlandish and stupid comments I have ever read. And she’s on the US Commission for Civil Rights?! That’s just appalling that someone so incapable of rationality is in such a position. She should be roundly condemned for such an egregiously wrong statement.

    5. So that’s where Blazing Saddles took that scene from? An old college application?

    6. Hasn’t she heard? You should never go full retard.

  8. This is another example of trump empowering the back wood clingers.
    Clearly this would be solved with universal collage for all who have been deemed sufficiently woke. Those that go against us progressive betters will not be allowed to attend, and will only be allowed jobs at the clinger minimum wage, which will be half of the stated minimum wage.

    1. You forgot to mention that clingers will only get 3/5 of a vote.

    2. I say send all the “betters” off to ‘collage’. We won’t miss them.

      1. I was expecting a pics of women taped over each other ir something

    3. So we’ll take all the woke people and stick them to a big piece of colored paper somewhere? Deal!

  9. “Victims’ rights advocates intend to fight the new rules in court.”

    The new rules are insufficiently dismissive of the Fifth Amendment!

    1. “Who are you, what are you doing in here, and who let you in?”

      These abject advocates don’t have a leg to stand on and any Universities would be retarded to go to court to fight for the right to violate their student’s civil liberties, what am I missing?

      1. what am I missing?

        The last 40 years.

  10. DeVos formally announced the new rules related to Title IX—the federal statute that governs sexual misconduct in schools

    Would someone *kindly* point out in the Constitution where the federal government is permitted to govern *any* misconduct in schools?

    1. It’s written right there in lemon juice on the back, next to the treasure map.

      1. +100. Most underrated comment of the day.

    2. This is about the Civil Rights Act and tacking sex onto that. There is a legitimate augment to make that the kinds of principled stances Goldwater held to against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are politically untenable. And what I mean by “untenable” is that no democracy of diverse people can sustain the principles he clung to over time.

      In other words, just like communism was untenable, because the laws of economics are so fundamental that communism can’t be sustained over long periods of time, the principles Goldwater and others clung to may have been undermined by the reality of what it means for diverse voters in a democracy.

      The real problem was that the courts failed to properly distinguish between the public and private sphere. It would have been one thing for the courts to say that private schools aren’t eligible for research grants unless they do x, y, and z. Quite another to say that students are ineligible for loans, scholarships, or financial aid if they attend a school that doesn’t do x, y, and z.

      If I were to start dismantling that, we might look at repealing this act:

      1. Thanks, Ken.

      2. I recall that Goldwater favored civil rights laws in regards dealing with voting, courts, legal proceedings, use of public facilities like parks, beaches, etc. What he opposed was forcing private individuals to accommodate any and all classes of persons on their private property.

        1. Yes, that’s right.

          And whether he was wrong or right about that is an independent and separate issue from the question of whether people or policies that espouse that can be sustained in a diverse democracy.

          What I’m saying is that regardless of whether people should be free to discriminate on private property, the distinction between private property and the public sphere should be preserved.

          Saying that private universities shouldn’t be free to set sexual assault investigation policies as they please because they accept students who receive financial aid from the government is like saying that McDonalds can’t change its menu however it wants because some of its customers are on Social Security.

          Before we tackle the question of whether private entities should be free to do as they please in regards to sexual assault investigations, we need to reestablish the distinction between the public sphere and the private. If private entities are free to do as they please, that means nothing if every institution that receives public support in any way is effectively considered a public institution for purposes of Title IX.

          The reason private institutions are treated as if they were public institutions that way is because of Supreme Court decisions and because of legislation that responded to those decisions.

          The Civil Rights Restoration Act I linked above was a reaction to Grove City College vs. Bell.

          “Grove City College v. Bell, 465 U.S. 555 (1984), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that Title IX, which applies only to colleges and universities that receive federal funds, could be applied to a private school that refused direct federal funding but for which a large number of students had received federally funded scholarships. The Court also held that the federal government could require a statutorily mandated “assurance of compliance” with Title IX even though no evidence had been presented to suggest that Grove City College had discriminated. However, the Court also held that the regulation would apply only to the institution’s financial aid department, not to the school as a whole.”

      3. This is about the Civil Rights Act and tacking ____*onto that.

        *gender, sexual orientation, trans gender non binary orientation, economic disparity, educational disparity, cultural orientation, fatness, ugliness, toothless-ness/ or poor tattoo to teeth ratio; the possibilities are endless.

    3. Heck, it goes beyond that. Someone tell me where in Title IX congress authorized any of this star trial nonsense. If a student is assaulted or raped, one calls the police and NOT a college administrator!

      1. This standard isn’t used to throw the perpetrator in jail. The police track is running parallel to this.

        The standard is used to certify that the school and its students are still eligible for federal funds.

        1. The standard is used to certify that the school and its students are still eligible for federal funds.

          De facto maybe. De rigueur, a student investigated and kicked out without any indication of a decision is likely to be rejected by the next school (or employer) he applies to even if he can get or doesn’t need a loan.

          1. Regardless it is a deprivation without due process

          2. No question that students are treated unfairly, and that’s the way the federal government wanted it under Obama.

            They wanted an environment where women who make accusations are well protected on campus by the administration at the expense of the falsely accused, and they created that environment by making the institution’s eligibility for government money contingent on mistreating the falsely accused.

            They would never put it in those terms, but those are the terms of the policy laid bare.

            1. No question that students are treated unfairly

              Sorry Ken… I don’t understand. By saying “treated unfairly” you mean the victim of rape who is being slut shamed by the political Right? Or something else?

              1. Slut shamed? Who is doing that besides your imaginary Boogeyman? Allowing the accused due process is slut shaming? In what world?

              2. By saying “treated unfairly” you mean the victim of rape who is being slut shamed by the political Right? Or something else?

                Hey, dumbass, when are you going to stop slut shaming Tara Reade?

              3. Assuming you’re not so ignorant on this issue that you really aren’t aware of all the cases in which people have been miserably mistreated under a cloud of unproven allegations is giving you the benefit of the doubt.

              4. Off to the gulag, when the “people” are in charge, who needs due process.

                I do not know of any cases where the victim was slut shamed by the political right. They might be questioned by the accused defendant, but that is independent of political party. If anything it would be more likely a leftist doing the shaming/ raping, because more young people who believe that morality is just a perspective and not an identifiable reality are on the left. The right has those nasty moralists who think that the opposite is true.

                Tara Reid is currently being “slut shamed” by the political left, is this what you mean?

              5. American Socialist
                May.6.2020 at 3:26 pm

                “Sorry Ken… I don’t understand…”

                We know; you are too fucking stooopid to understand. Please fuck off and die.

  11. I will not be amazed by the number of democrats who think due process is bad for students, but ok for Biden.

    1. Look, they wanted the same due process for Kavanaugh so… fair is fair, both sides.

  12. Nevertheless, victims’ rights advocates intend to fight the new rules in court.

    Ix-nay on the elieve-bay all omen-way right now. We’re trying to get our accused into the White House.

      1. LIzzy Warren said take an ax, and give those students 40 whacks,

        But of Biden she did say, “it’s not MY problem, the way he fingered her that day”

  13. Didn’t universities already come out a year ago and say they were gonna ignore whatever “rules” or “guidelines” she comes up with? These rules sound like UN resolutions. Is there any evidence that they’ll have any muscle behind them? Like cutting gov’t funds to universities? And isn’t this too little too late? Schools are closed now anyway. At most, we’ll have a couple months of these rules in the Fall till Trump loses in November. I expect Biden’s admin will put into place rules that are even more Orwellian than under Obama.

    1. On the bright side, school closures will mean it’s a lot harder for hormonal bitches with buyer’s remorse to charge the guys they fucked while blitzed on coke and PCP with rape.

      1. Ugg, Robby, this sick misogyny on the part of people who support your position are undermining your frat boy liberation movement.

        1. Because due process is so outdated, right? Do you have anything constructive to say or is it all empty tropes and disingenuous stereotypes on your part?

        2. UGGh, A.S. , The blind misandry of people who support your position are undermining rational people taking you as anything but a partisan, communist hack.

    2. To be fair, the most these colleges can do is expel and blackball students. The Obama Letter was just another excuse to expel and blackball.

      The only thing that will get their attention is if the administration cuts off their funding.

  14. Also, Twitter right now is exposing just how important holding Dems feet to the fire on Tara Reade is right now. Every time they try to get a proper outrage going on the new rules, they’re getting swarmed and asked about Biden and Tara. This was literally the best time this could possibly happen.

    1. I think holding Dems feet to the fire over Tara Reade right now is counterproductive; it risks Biden dropping out early.

      The best thing for making this blow up is around the second presidential debate. Tara Reade can sit in the front row and stare at Biden.

      1. Don’t suggest it. Someone might think to have the 12 women who have accused Trump, plus all the now-old Miss Americas he walked through the dressing room and goggled at in the front row staring at Trump. They would outnumber Tara Read by a lot.

        1. The reality is that neither of them can afford a character debate because, they are both guilty of the same things: sexual harassment, nepotism and being old white men. Both will completely avoid any discussion of the things they have in common. It will be like this:

          Trump: “I don’t have Alzheimer’s!”

          Biden: “I’m not orange!”

          1. I don’t see where Trump is guilty of nepotism.

            When it comes to dealing with women, the issue is Biden’s hypocrisy, but their sex lives.

            1. How many of Trump’s children or their spouses worked on his campaign? How many now hold some position on his staff?

              If they were or are doing it for free, I don’t have a problem with it. However, if they are getting paid for it, that’s nepotism.

              Creepy Joe is a hypocrite but, he’s a politician so that’s par for the course. The hypocrisy of the women in the Democratic party who are defending him is what will bite them in the ass come the election. #BiteMeToo

        2. Trump doesn’t give a shit.

  15. “Nothing Betsy DeVos has done since she took office will have a more lasting effect on people’s lives than this,” Dillon tells Reason. “It’s frankly inspiring to see how hard she and her staff have worked to get these regulations done and get them right.”

    Almost giving Trump props, and close enough that he’ll be tarred by those with TDS.

    1. Is that the GOP talking point now, GOP suckup? That Trump isn’t so bad. I’m a libertarian so I think his cruel immigration policies and exploding national debt suck. Tell the GOP to stick it up their ass at your next meeting, ok soldier?

      1. You aren’t even close to a libertarian. Because no libertarian would be on here crying about due process being granted to the accused.

      2. Trump continued the national debt trends Obama and the Democrats always love and support , definitely bad, but your side always wants more spending, so it must be TDS speaking, not your brain.
        You are not a Libertarian or you would never use the moniker you use!
        Why would you expect Libertarians to tell Republicans anything?

      3. American Socialist
        May.6.2020 at 3:21 pm
        “Is that the GOP talking point now, GOP suckup?..”

        Is that your attempt at humor, mass-murderer suck up?

      4. You’re a f*cking self-proclaimed socialist, i.e., a totalitarian. You’re about as far from a libertarian as it is humanly possible to be.

  16. Laws should never be written in a way to give the Executive branch the ability to interpret laws.

    1. It’s been some 70 years in the making. One more Gorsuch [and another hundred or so appellate and district appointments of similar ilk] is about the only hope I see of that happening; of reversing the delegation of congressional responsibility to the administrative state.

      Not that I would wish a not horrible person ill, but when will that old bat just curl up and die any way?

    2. This ^^^

      Easy to forget but always true.

  17. Yay! Entitled rich asshole frat boys everywhere rejoice.

    1. Seriously, this trolling or parodying or whatever it is you think you’re doing is moving from just dumb to stupifying and not in ‘haha funny‘ sense.

      1. The scumbag really can’t help it; he really is that stupid. I’m sure his mommy still tells him he’s clever, and given that he’s not about to grow up, you can’t expect anything beyond 5th-grade ‘humor’.

    2. Yep, those Democrat frat boys and their rich parents are so bad. Just think of all the recent major national crisis caused by them. They are the cause of the worlds problems.

      Do you have a realistic picture of any part of the world or society??

      They are not as bad as entitled American socialists who use their position within our wealthy society to advance policies that make everyone worse off. Few are as closed minded and full of “false knowledge” as those socialists and their brethren.

    3. Yay! Entitled rich asshole frat boys everywhere rejoice.

      Like all leftist policies, this will mostly hurt the poor and minorities.

      1. Sorry, let me rephrase that:

        Like all leftist policies, Title IX mostly hurts the poor and minorities.

  18. “The new rules keep this definition but add that the conduct must be offensive to a reasonable person, severe, and pervasive.”

    I think Severe OR Pervasive is sufficient. It shouldn’t have to be both.
    Grabbing someone by the pussy or dick is severe, and it should be an auto-out.
    Putting a plastic penis on someone’s desk every single day for a month is not severe but it is pervasive and it should be enough to count as harassment.

    What does she want? To go back to Mad Men 50’s style environments?

  19. How dare these evil GOP folks take us back to the days when the right to confront your accuser existed. We’re supposed to believe all women. Unless, of course, the accused is a Democrat. In that case the woman or women may be cheerfully ignored.

    1. Oh stop whining. Cosby, Weinstein, Franken all Democrats. What no one has been able to answer for three days now. When do Republicans hold other Republicans accountable?

  20. Title IX—the federal statute that governs sexual misconduct in schools

    Wrong. The Title IX statute does not govern sexual misconduct. It prohibits discrimination in education.

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