Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: A Flurry of Title IX Rulings and Cases

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Appeals courts differ over what law to apply when considering cases about sex discrimination at educational institutions. And various groups say the First Amendment gives them the right to access government data.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has created a circuit split. It’s disagreed with decisions from the Fifth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals about whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides the exclusive remedy for employees alleging sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions. The Fifth and Seventh Circuits said yes. The Third Circuit said no and argued that Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments provides another way to address discrimination claims.

Another federal court has decided that Kansas State University may have violated Title IX when it didn’t investigate students’ reports of being raped while attending parties at off-campus fraternity houses.

A former Montana State University student filed a federal court lawsuit alleging that the university discriminated against him on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX when it kicked him off campus after privately making anti-trans statements with an instructor. He said that the teacher mistook his comment as threatening.

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Almost 100 groups urge the Trump administration to “strongly enforce” Title IX.

Lehigh University professor Dena S. Davis writes for the Hastings Center that Neil Gorsuch’s constitutional views on death with dignity may presage regressive rulings on Roe v. Wade.

A federal judge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that insurance giant Aetna lied about why it pulled out of the Affordable Care Act.

A federal court in Ohio has ruled that a class action lawsuit challenging the institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities may proceed. The lawsuit alleges that state officials violated federal law by administering services that illegally denied individuals with disabilities the right to live and work in the larger community.

In a 5-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Texas had been using unconstitutional and outdated medical standards in determining whether murder convicts are exempt from the death penalty due to mental disability.

According to a Capitol Hill media association that denied Breitbart News press credentials, the right-wing website may have been acting as an “illegal influence operation” for its Washington, D.C. landlord, the Egyptian businessman and former politician Moustafa El-Gindy.

In Tennessee, General Sessions court Judge Casey Moreland is facing criminal charges arising from allegations that he tried to bribe a witness to recant her sexual assault allegations and that he conspired to plant drugs on her to destroy her reputation.

A First Amendment advocacy group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Trump administration. It’s seeking the release of data about how frequently U.S. citizens and others had their electronic devices searched at border crossings.

All the judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will rehear an American Civil Liberties Union claim that it has standing to assert a First Amendment right to see the court’s decisions upholding the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear a case asking that the City of Glendale, California, remove a statute honoring comfort women, the estimated 200,000 Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. One of the plaintiffs, the Global Alliance for Historical Truth, denies that comfort women were sex slaves.

Judge Amy Hehn in Multnomah County, Oregon, has become the first to grant an individual the right to be “agender” or genderless.

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