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Focus on dangers of campus sexual violence in Biden review of Trump-era Title IX changes


As the primary author of the Violence Against Women Act, President Joe Biden has arguably achieved more progress than any other single American on the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Now his administration, led by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, plans to review the Trump-era regulations governing higher education’s response to gender-based violence. 

Most of the reforms made under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have been decried by advocates and by the higher education community itself, and deserve close examination by the Biden administration. On the one hand, the department made some regulatory changes to Title IX that are hailed as progress — for example, clarifying that domestic violence and stalking constitute gender discrimination under the law.

But the new regulations also created unprecedented protections for those accused of sexual or domestic violence, far beyond a normal university disciplinary process. The regulations required higher education to morph our student conduct process into something closer to a criminal justice system, requiring mini criminal trials with live hearings and cross-examinations. 


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