Federal Judge Dismisses Challenge to Title IX

A federal district court judge in Washington yesterday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Title IX, the landmark law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded education, threatens collegiate male sports teams. US Judge Emmet Sullivan found that the lawsuit filed by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) and four additional athletic groups failed to show harmful effects from Title IX, according to the Washington Post.

The plaintiffs contended that Title IX had caused cuts in male sports programs, particularly wrestling. However, the judge ruled that Title IX is not to blame for these cuts because schools make decisions based on a variety of factors, according to the National Women’s Law Center. Attorney Lawrence Joseph, representing the NWCA, vowed that “[the fight] was far from over,” according to the Post. The group plans to either seek reconsideration from the district court or appeal the decision to a higher court.

President Bush’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics released recommendations to weaken enforcement of Title IX in February to the Department of Education. Education Secretary Rod Paige is considering the commission’s recommendations and will issue his suggestions for changing Title IX in the next few months, according to the Post. “We call on the Bush Administration to abandon its ill-advised attempts to roll back Title IX policies,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, which submitted an amicus brief in the case. “As the court made abundantly clear today, these policies are still urgently needed to redress discrimination against female athletes and are not the cause of harm to men’s teams.”

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Washington Post 6/12/03; LA Times 6/12/03; NWLC 6/11/03; Associated Press 6/12/03

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