Case Study

SurvJustice, ERA, VRLC v. Department of Education

Challenging the Trump Administration’s Unlawful Rollback of Title IX Protections for Student Sexual Violence Survivors

Democracy Forward, along with the National Center for Youth Law and the National Women’s Law Center, filed suit on behalf of plaintiffs SurvJustice, Equal Rights Advocates, and Victim Rights Law Center against the Trump Administration to stop the implementation of new and extreme Title IX guidance, alleging that it is unconstitutionally based on the Administration’s discriminatory beliefs about the credibility of women and girls who report sexual violence. The lawsuit also seeks to reinstate survivor protections revoked by Secretary DeVos.

The new policy discriminates against survivors in several ways: it allows schools to resolve claims of violent sexual assault through a process that avoids accountability and can be traumatic for many survivors and lead to unjust outcomes; it gives those accused of sexual violence the right to appeal an unfavorable investigative outcome while denying survivors that same right; and it eliminates the requirement that schools conduct prompt investigations following reports of sexual violence, allowing cases to drag on indefinitely.

Signed into law by President Nixon, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The policy has been expanded by seven administrations.

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