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Biden administration Title IX rule change

Description:  The Biden administration’s proposed rule that illegitimately rewrites Title IX violates Americans’ constitutionally and legally protected freedoms.


President Joe Biden signing a document
Monday, Sep 12, 2022

WASHINGTON – In response to the Biden administration’s attempt to illegitimately rewrite Title IX, Alliance Defending Freedom submitted five formal comments Sunday urging the administration to withdraw its proposed rule that violates Americans’ constitutionally and legally protected freedoms and threatens the advancements women have achieved in education and athletics. The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule redefines “sex” in federal law to address new matters beyond the scope and text of the Title IX statute.

“Title IX deals with discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity or sexual orientation, and was rightly enacted to ensure women had equal opportunity in academics and athletics. Now, by unlawfully rewriting this federal statute, President Biden is threatening to erode those advancements, which women have long fought to achieve,” said ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer. “Sadly, it’s not just female athletes who will suffer from this radical overreach of executive authority. Doctors could be forced to perform medical procedures that violate their conscience, school districts could undermine parents by concealing vital information about their child’s health, and public universities will be able to censor and compel students’ speech. We urge the Department of Education to abandon its proposed rule and respect the most fundamental freedoms upon which every American relies.”

ADF opposes the administration’s effort to redefine sex discrimination under Title IX because that effort:

  • Lacks legal authority: It is illegal for the Secretary of Education, an unelected bureaucrat, to rewrite federal law without Congress’ authority. Further, redefining “sex discrimination” is not authorized by Title IX’s text or U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
  • Hurts female athletes: The proposed rule will undermine fairness in women’s sports and diminish women’s privacy and safety.
  • Undermines parental rights: By redefining “sex” to encompass “gender identity,” the Department of Education wrongly seeks to compel schools to treat students as whatever sex they prefer—without parents’ knowledge or consent. Additionally, the proposed rule would undermine parents’ authority to make vital decisions regarding their child’s emotional, mental, or physical health by giving that right to school staff instead.
  • Harms unborn children and women: The proposed rule will harm unborn human lives and women by imposing broad abortion mandates, and it will harm children and adults who struggle with gender dysphoria by coercing doctors to perform dangerous and life-altering medical procedures, even if doing so violates their conscience or religious beliefs.
  • Violates freedoms of speech and religion: The proposed rule threatens to censor and compel speech by forcing students and professors at public universities to use pronouns and titles that are inconsistent with a person’s sex.

ADF attorneys are litigating several cases defending female athletes, doctors, religious schools, and employers from the administration’s attempt to redefine the word “sex” in federal law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Pronunciation guide: Kiefer (KEE’-fur)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Christiana Kiefer

Christiana Kiefer serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Since joining ADF in 2012, Kiefer has worked to protect women's and girls' sports and has defended the bodily privacy rights of students. She has also worked to protect the constitutionally protected freedom of churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries to exercise their faith without government interference. Kiefer earned her J.D. in 2010 from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, where she graduated first in her class and served as a teaching assistant in criminal law. Also in 2010, Kiefer completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the state bar of California, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.