On Title IX, Bureaucrats are a Law Unto Themselves

An associate general counsel from a top law school in the Midwest recently gave a presentation at my law school. Although the talk was largely apolitical and meant mainly to present us with an example of a potential career path for lawyers, Title IX loomed large. In our polarized times, especially while speaking at a university, Title IX necessarily enters all campus discussions of a legal nature and, in some ways, dominates them.

This lawyer, along with many other campus higher-ups, finds impossible to fathom Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s stance on Title IX and due process. This counsel doesn’t believe that male students are regularly railroaded by self-interested educrats looking to pander to their progressive handlers or that these same educrats have no real interest in fairly adjudicating sex crimes (not to mention they’re woefully unequipped to handle this duty even if they did want to do it well). Instead, this lawyer thinks that those who have concerns with the way “due process” is (not) practiced on campuses across the country are in the wrong and misrepresenting the facts. (Interestingly, the courts strongly disagree with her.)

Here’s the big takeaway line with respect to Title IX enforcement from the talk I attended: “All of the schools that I’m familiar with are still using the 2011 ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ guidance.”

Let that sink in.

It’s difficult to overstate how insane and subversive that statement is. It means, even when the levers at the highest levels of this nation’s government change hands, the functional, day-to-day reality for an average person changes not a whit. It means, fundamentally, our elections really don’t have consequences. It means the cultural Marxists, the postmodern ideologues, and the Social Justice Warriors who infest our system of higher “education” are laughing with impunity at those of us who still hold due process in high esteem.

Personnel is policy, as they say. It matters not that actual laws or high-level government administrators change with the partisan tides or that political positions come to be filled by those sympathetic to the priorities of the putative governing majority. If the people responsible for implementation of law through regulation constitute an embedded class, working for their own interests and on behalf of their own opinions instead of faithfully and impartially carrying out the law as it was legitimately conceived, we are no longer a self-governing people. When the whims of administrators have the force of law, their power to govern us without our consent becomes shockingly apparent.

DeVos should take strong measures in response—assuming she knows what’s happening. Wisconsin’s legislature has the right idea on the free speech front. More needs to happen on the due process front. These dissidents—a permanent class which, in many ways, is hostile to the interests of average Americans—need to be compelled to administer our nation’s laws in a manner consistent with the will and consent of We, the sovereign People.

This is insanity. DeVos needs to know her authority over her department’s prerogatives is being intentionally flouted and undermined by those who are supposed to be upholding it and that she needs to act quickly to restore justice and regular order to our nation’s universities.


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About Deion A. Kathawa

Deion A. Kathawa is an attorney who hails from America’s heartland. He holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a 2021 alumnus of the Claremont Institute’s John Marshall Fellowship. Subscribe to his “Sed Kontra” newsletter.