A small evangelical college in Oklahoma has become the first school to sue the federal government for its overbearing Title IX enforcement—possibly paving the way for others. Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville has joined an existing lawsuit against the federal Department of Education first filed by a former University of Virginia law student, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Monday.
The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights issued an all but binding guidance via a "Dear Colleague" letter in 2011 that forced colleges and universities to try sexual assault cases in-house or else fall victim to an authoritarian naming-and-shaming campaign, and risk the loss of federal funding.
OCR stipulates a sub-constitutional standard of proof in the on-campus kangaroo courts, as they're often called. A preponderance of evidence is all it takes to remove an accused student from campus, as opposed to a public trial with counsel for the accused and (per constitutional due process) proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For years, despite legal challenges from constitutional scholars and accused students seeking fair trials, colleges have acquiesced to the prevailing victim bias.
The lawsuit honors the true spirit of the 1972 Amendments to the Higher Education Act, which gave us Title IX: As we've learned from a litany of insubstantial trials by popular prejudice, Title IX's intent to protect all students' rights plainly clashes with OCR's overreaching implementation of it.