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Massachusetts Federal District Court Largely Upheld the Title IX Regs against a Fourth Lawsuit Challenging Their Legality under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Equal Protection Clause

By: Brett A. Sokolow, J.D. Chair of the Board, TNG President, ATIXA

In Massachusetts, a federal District Court largely upheld the Title IX regs against a fourth lawsuit challenging their legality under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Equal Protection Clause.

The District Court’s decision calls into question the legality and applicability of the evidence exclusionary rule contained in the Regulations (34 C.F.R. §106.45(b)(6)(i)).

While the court declared the provision unlawful, it did not go so far as to implement a nationwide stay or injunction on the Department of Education’s enforcement of that provision. Thus, we do not have a firmly established directive on how schools should proceed while the Department of Education is preparing its response.

However, having reviewed the court’s reasoning, ATIXA believes the court’s decision is well-founded. Therefore, we recommend that all schools promptly consult with legal counsel to determine whether further procedural revisions are needed before the next academic term begins.

It is ATIXA’s view that the Department of Education will not be eager to enforce the evidentiary exclusion provision at this time. Still, each school needs to consider how it wishes to proceed. ATIXA will be drafting some alternate language for our model procedures for those schools interested in removing the exclusionary rule. 

Whether another court in another jurisdiction would rule similarly is an open question.

Details on the decision can be found at