Biden Administration Sounds Death Knell for Title IX

For 52 years, the regulation known as Title IX has been subject to political winds and judicial rulings, but observers say the Biden Administration’s new attack on the law will sound the death knell for its alleged original intent: the fostering and protection of women’s sports at institutions that accept federal funds. The new regulation is slated to take effect this August.

A five-minute Prager University video on Title IX's changes shows former Trump Administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos lamenting that “the celebrated law meant to promote opportunities for girls and women has, thanks to progressives, been turned against them.” DeVos points out that Title IX’s 37 words affirming that women “cannot be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial aid, are being twisted to mean something entirely different.”

In 2011, the Obama Administration used Title IX to address alleged problems of sexual assault on college campuses. But DeVos notes in her video that “rather than focusing on prevention, it decided to focus on punishment. The administration used Title IX and its language about preventing discrimination against women as the basis for discriminating against men.”

She explains that Obama-Biden accomplished its goal by requiring schools to assume that the accused in sexual assault cases — mostly men — were guilty until proven innocent. “Students were accused and convicted of sexual assault by their schools without a fair chance to defend themselves.” They had no opportunity to confront their accusers who, as presumed victims, were “shielded by school authorities.”

Traditional Catholic newspaper, The Remnant, reported that “since 2022, Biden’s woke Education Department has been cracking their brains to find ways to widen Title IX to permit transgender athletes to play on female sports teams and to use private spaces for women, including restrooms and locker rooms, as long as these spaces align with the ‘gender identities’ of these gender-confused athletes.

“By dismissing the self-evident reality of biological sex and replacing it with the personal and subjective sense of ‘gender identity,’ the Biden administration is effectively enshrining the lie that ‘you are whatever you think you are or claim you feel’ into federal diktats.”

Liberal spin

According to numerous sources, the new set of Title IX rules encompassing some 1,500 pages will gut the due process protections put in place by the Trump Administration while preserving sexual orientation and transgender identity. But rather than bemoan the Biden assault on Title IX as the threat to women’s sports that many insist it is, liberals are spinning it as the righting of Trump Administration wrongs.

For example, USA Today opined that the Trump-era rules “gave more rights to alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment,” and that they “prevented people accused of sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination from facing repercussions.” But as DeVos detailed in her video, the Trump-issued regulation affirmed that “we must both protect victims of sexual assault and ensure that due process rights are protected. Again, the Biden Administration moved swiftly to undo what we had done, returning to the guilty until proven innocent approach.”

To counter the charge that the Biden regulation will destroy women’s sports by allowing wholesale intrusion by men, liberals rejoice that it is the “first-time prevention of sex discrimination based on gender identity.”

The new rule will also “extend the definition of ‘sex-based harassment’ to include pregnant people on campuses.” [Emphasis added.] While it’s safe to assume this reference is to pregnant women pretending to be men, it’s unclear how it pertains to women playing sports.

As may be expected, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) applauded the new regulation for including “young people who identify as transgender.” The ACLU is apparently unfazed by the harm already being done to young women by transgender men who are stealing their awards and medals and causing them physical harm, which in some cases has proven debilitating.

Instead, the organization’s deputy legal director Louise Melling said: “At a critical time, when trans youth are being used by politicians as a punching bag, the final rule issues an important reminder that schools cannot discriminate based on gender identity, transgender status, or sexual orientation.”

The Biden rule does not specifically dictate that “transgender and nonbinary” students can play on the sports teams that are consistent with their chosen “gender,” but neither does it ban them from doing so. The new rule goes so far as to include in its definition of “harassment” the use of “incorrect pronouns.”

States file suit

On May 6, The Epoch Times reported that “Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration and advising schools to ignore the new federal Title IX changes that expand sex discrimination protection to students who identify as the opposite sex, or transgender.”

The number of states that have filed suit continues to grow, and as of this writing has risen to 22, with Missouri and Arkansas most recently entering the fray. Also fighting back are Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana, which sued the Biden administration on April 30.

As Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti wrote in a statement: “The U.S. Department of Education has no authority to let boys into girls’ locker rooms.... In the decades since its adoption, Title IX has been universally understood to protect the privacy and safety of women in private spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms.”

Oklahoma and Texas have also initiated litigation. The Times quoted Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters as stating: “I’m going to be really clear. President Biden deciding to rewrite Title IX is one of the most radical and illegal moves we’ve ever seen from the federal government.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Biden challenging his power to rewrite the law, calling it an “abuse of authority.” He stated: “I am instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore your illegal dictate.... Your rewrite of Title IX not only exceeds your constitutional authority, but it also tramples laws that I signed to protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes.”

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton says the Biden Administration has not merely broken the law, but “has also interfered with Texas sovereignty.” He charges that the administration has “radically distorted the meaning intended by Congress when the law was made.”

Along with many other states, Florida is refusing to comply with the new regulation ahead of its effective date later this summer. Governor Ron DeSantis posted on X (formerly Twitter) that his state’s response is “we will not comply.” He added: “We are not gonna let Joe Biden try to inject men into women’s activities. We are not gonna let Joe Biden undermine the rights of parents, and we are not gonna let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to try to impose these policies on us here in Florida.”

Some states require parental notification if a child identifies as transgender, and some have banned schools from requiring teachers to use students’ “preferred pronouns.” All these laws run afoul of Biden’s new Title IX rule. See for example Education Reporter’s Title IX in the Crosshairs, June 2022 and Legal Recourse for Saving Kids, March 2024, among other articles.

Legal experts believe the new Title IX rule usurps the power of Congress. Attorney Jonathan Hullihan, who represents the Texas chapter of Citizens Defending Freedom (CDF), told The Epoch Times: “Changing the meaning of sex, and thereby changing the meaning of the law Congress passed, will impact almost every child in America, meaning it would fall under the major questions doctrine.”

The Times explained that “the major questions doctrine is a principle applied in U.S. administrative law cases, which states that courts will presume that Congress does not delegate issues of major political or economic significance to executive agencies.” According to Hullihan, the real issue in the Biden Title IX rewrite concerns “the separation of powers.”

Title IX’s intent

From the time it became law in 1972, the intent of Title IX was trumpeted as providing women an equal opportunity with men to play sports in federally funded education programs. But some conservatives, including the late Phyllis Schlafly, believed other motives were involved; namely, that Title IX was intended to advance women’s sports at the expense of men’s sports, particularly at the college level.

Over the years, Phyllis wrote extensively about Title IX, and in 2008, she addressed its impact on the participation of U.S. athletes in that year’s Olympic summer games in Beijing, China, pointing out that the regulation “crippled our national competitiveness.” She explained:

  • Title IX regulations have forced educational institutions to eliminate men's teams until the number of men and women on sports teams is the same ratio as the number of men and women enrolled in academic classes. In the numerous colleges that are now 60 percent female in academic enrollment, Title IX requires that men's teams be eliminated until only 40 percent of the athletes are men.

  • Title IX quotas have caused the elimination of all but 19 men's college gymnastics teams. This deprives boys of the scholarship incentive to take up gymnastics as a sport in high school and takes away the competition needed to improve their skills in college.

Phyllis’s report went on to note that Title IX forced the elimination of 467 college wrestling teams, which she contended had little to do with a lack of funding and much to do with feminist ideology “that demands eliminating macho sports in order to meet the foolish Title IX quotas.”

She astutely observed that the downsizing of men’s sports on many college campuses, including men’s swim teams in addition to wrestling and gymnastics teams, likely contributed to the diminished interest of young men in going to college. “Why bother attending college if you can’t play the sport you love?” she asked.

Phyllis further noted that “the devastating outcome in the 2008 Olympics was predictable. America won only one wrestling medal, which was in men’s freestyle wrestling’s lightest-weight class, and it was won by the son of illegal aliens who did not wrestle in college.”

She demonstrated that the other medal winners “did not benefit from any school athletic program,” including female cyclist Kristin Armstrong, who won a gold medal for the U.S. but attended school in Japan where her military family was living. Star gymnast Nastia Liukin, who won five medals, “was born in Russia and trained at her family’s private gymnastics club.” While Liukin attended Southern Methodist University in 2007 and the college bragged about her achievements on its website after the 2008 games, the college had dropped its small women’s gymnastics team and instead had a large women's rowing team, and so had nothing to offer Liukin. Renowned swimmer Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals in Beijing, trained privately and didn’t compete on a college team.

Today, Phyllis would recognize the irony in the Biden Administration’s shredding of Title IX. The same school of voices that trumpeted the importance of providing equal opportunity for women in sports are now demanding that biological men be allowed to destroy those opportunities.

Former competitive female swimmer Riley Gaines, who famously lost her NCAA Division I medal to transgender swimmer “Leah” Thomas, sagely pointed out that sex and gender are now equal, and that men will not only be allowed to compete against women but also take academic and athletic scholarships from them. What she failed to note is that only men who pretend to be women are permitted to do this; and that genuine manhood and men’s sports remain under attack by the Left.

As The Remnant article stated: “The recent Biden-administration changes to Title IX are not entirely surprising, given the White House’s recent declaration of Easter Sunday to be ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’ on Good Friday, March 29, besides Biden’s other religiously offensive gaffes.”

And as most Christians would agree, “only the condescending mercy of Jesus Christ, ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life,’ can rescue this beautiful country, and the rest of the world, from falling into ‘the bottomless pit.’

“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

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