Paxton asks court to reaffirm Title IX commitment to free speech, due process.
AUSTIN –Attorney GeneralKenPaxtontoday led 15 states in an amicus brief filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, urging the court to allow the Department of Education to reaffirm Title IX’s commitment to protecting students from actual harassment while respecting free speech and fair process. The Department of Education’s “Final Rule” bolsters the anti-discrimination purposes of Title IX without infringing free speech or due process rights.
“Academic institutions cannot deprive students of their constitutional rights to free speech, due process, or fair trial. The Final Rule provides robust protection for individual rights where previous regulations and guidance failed,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Supreme Court has long recognized that students subject to disciplinary proceedings are entitled to due process, as is every American citizen.”
Without safeguards, academic institutions can and have eschewed due process and imposed life-altering consequences on students without affording them the opportunity to defend themselves. The vast majority of colleges and universities currently deny students the right to present evidence or cross examine witnesses, and less than half require that fact-finders be impartial during investigations.