• Title IX Rule Goes Into Effect

    Higher education advocates suffered two legal setbacks in their efforts to secure a more reasonable timeline for the implementation of the Department of Education’s new and expansive Title IX regulations as two federal district courts denied requests for a delay in the rule’s August 14 effective date.

    Higher education groups, including AASCU, expressed numerous concerns about the substance of the regulations in comments submitted to the department. Unfortunately, most of these were dismissed by the department, which published a final regulation on May 19, with a scheduled effective date of August 14. 

    The rule was challenged in three federal districts: the Southern District of New York, the District of Columbia, and Boston—in the two former cases by attorneys general from 18 states and D.C. AASCU joined other higher education associations in submitting amicus briefs solely addressing the plaintiffs’ request for a delay in the implementation date of the new regulations, pointing out the complexity of the rule and the onerous challenge of implementing its numerous new mandates within 90 days during a pandemic.

    Unfortunately, judges in D.C. and the Southern District of New York declined to issue preliminary injunctions requested by attorneys general from 17 states and D.C. and New York, respectively. The plaintiffs’ failure to obtain a stay resulted in the rule going into effect on August 14. Barring the success of the plaintiffs in the ongoing litigation—which both courts indicated they view as unlikely—the rule has the force of federal law and can only be unwound through a formal rulemaking or new legislation.