Alison Somin: The Obama Administration: Changing the Rules of the Title IX Game?

We wanted to let everyone know about a great piece that was published today by the Federalist Society concerning the Obama Administration and Title IX. “The Obama Administration: Changing the Rules of the Title IX Game?,” by Alison Somin is a great look at the current state of the law.

That shouldn’t entirely be a surprise, as Somin currently serves as a Special Assistant/Counsel at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. You may recall that it was the commission that issued a report endorsing the use of the model survey to prove compliance for Title IX in intercollegiate athletics—a report that was published less than two weeks before the Obama Administration effectively rescinded their use.

From the article’s conclusion:

The Obama administration should not have rescinded the Model Survey. If a court had upheld the Model Survey, it would have become easier for universities that are in fact in compliance with Title IX’s prohibition on gender discrimination to demonstrate that compliance under the third prong. Instead, the current numbers games to satisfy substantial proportionality requirements will continue. As a result of these games, budget-minded universities will be forced to divert resources away from programs for which there may be substantial demand (such as dance club, men’s wrestling, or cheerleading) and toward some women’s athletics team for which there is less demand. As in the Brown example, some teams may even have empty slots. Finally, Obama’s stance on the Model Survey foretells that his administration may soon adopt an aggressive approach to enforcing Title IX in academic science. “Title nining” academic science is a bad idea for both legal and policy reasons. First, the law was never intended to mandate strict proportionality in academic science. Secondly, there is no clear consensus among researchers regarding the causes of current gender disparities in science. Until these issues are better understood, a federally imposed solution might well do more harm than good.

Indeed. Just as they’ve done more harm than good in intercollegiate athletics. Please read it all right now.

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