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
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.