Attorney General Phil Weiser vows to defend Colorado campus sex assault policies from weaker federal mandate
May 6, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Attorney General Phil Weiser today released the following statement opposing the U.S. Department of Education’s new policies for how colleges and universities handle sexual assault and harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972:
“The State of Colorado will challenge the U.S. Department of Education’s new rules under Title IX that weaken protections for victims of sexual assault and harassment on Colorado’s college and university campuses and undermine the ability of Colorado to adopt more protective approaches than required by the federal government. The new rules mandated by the federal government threaten to prevent or discourage victims from coming forward and receiving the justice and protection they deserve.
“Colorado institutions of higher education have effective policies and procedures in place that offer safety and support for sexual assault and harassment survivors and respect due process for the accused. Our state colleges and universities should not be forced to choose between keeping policies that work and losing critical federal funding if they do not adopt an untested approach dictated by the federal government. Not only will the new rules be unnecessarily disruptive to our institutions of higher education that receive Title IX funding, but these rules will also burden them with administrative costs at a time when budgets are being squeezed.
“In Colorado, we are standing up against this unwise and unjust federal preemption of our authority that would replace our time-tested Colorado-based approaches with an untested plan developed at the federal level. Our institutions of higher education are dedicated to maintaining the sound policies, procedures, and state laws currently in place, and we will fight in court for their flexibility to do so.”
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
Director of Communications
Mobile: (720) 245-4689