January 11, 2016

MARCO RUBIO SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS, INSTEAD OF SIDING WITH GOVERNMENT OPPRESSION: Republican senator stands up to Ed. Dept. overreach.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., has written a letter to the secretary of the Education Department decrying the department’s federal overreach when it comes to bullying, harassment and sexual violence.

Lankford, who chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, has taken specific issue with the Education Department’s rules regarding how schools adjudicate these issues. The department has issued multiple “Dear Colleague” letters imposing new rules, and with that, costs, on schools across the country without congressional approval or even a comment period.

The letters are subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, Lankford explains, because they amount to “substantive and binding regulatory policies that are effectively regulations.” Lankford asks for a “thorough justification of the letters by providing the precise statutory and/or regulatory authority under Title IX for each policy that the letters purport to interpret.”

Previously, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has cited Title IX as justification for forcing schools to adjudicate felonies such as sexual assault. Yet that is a very stretched interpretation of Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex. OCR has determined on its own that sexual harassment and sexual assault (even between same-sex partners) is a form of discrimination and therefore is covered under Title IX.

Even with that interpretation, nothing suggests that schools must set up kangaroo court systems to adjudicate accusations — that was yet another “interpretation” from OCR.

More like this, please.