Wicker, Hyde-Smith Oppose Biden’s Flawed Title IX Proposal, Urge Extension of Public Comment Period

Miss. Senators, Colleagues Register Opposition to Misguided Rule that Threatens Constitutional Rights

July 21, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today are among 21 Senators registering opposition to the Biden Administration’s proposed changes to Title IX rules that govern the adjudication of sexual misconduct claims on college campuses. The Senators are requesting a 30-day extension for the public to provide comments.

In a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the Senators underscore how the proposed changes threaten students’ constitutional right to due process and run counter to federal court precedent. The lawmakers assert the public deserves more time to review and comment on the rule.

“Instead of upholding the key tenets of our judicial system, the Department’s proposal returns to the deeply flawed campus disciplinary process of the Obama administration, which was heavily criticized by liberal law professors, Democrats, and even a former liberal Supreme Court justice,” the Senators wrote.

“Allegations of sexual assault and harassment are a serious and difficult issue, which is why the previous administration was careful to get the Title IX regulations right,” the Senators continued.  “By contrast, the new proposed rule encourages institutions to adopt processes that have either been struck down or been viewed skeptically by multiple courts.”

“Rescinding or revising the existing Title IX regulations jeopardizes key protections for victims and the due process rights of the accused and places institutions back into legal jeopardy,” they wrote.

The Senators concluded, “Therefore, we ask that you, at a minimum, extend the public comment period by at least 30 days to ensure that the American public have the proper time to review this troublesome attack on due process protections and the expansion of Title IX.”

U.S. Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, led the letter.  In addition to Wicker and Hyde-Smith, it was signed by Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Boozman, R-Ark., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, James Inhofe, R-Okla., James Lankford, R-Okla., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala..

The U.S. Department of Education issued its proposed rule, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, on July 12 with a Sept. 12 deadline for providing public comments.

Read the Senators’ full letter here.