News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Transgender students would be covered by Title IX; lawyer’s contempt conviction upheld

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Title IX protections would be expanded

The Biden administration has proposed changes that would expand protections for sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that applies to schools that receive federal assistance. The changes clarify that protections against discrimination apply to sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy. The changes would also ban all forms of sex-based harassment, including unwelcome conduct that creates a hostile environment. Other changes curtail some Trump-era regulations that provided additional due process rights to students accused of sexual misconduct. Live hearings and cross-examination in such cases would no longer be required. (Inside Higher Ed, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Department of Education press release and fact sheet)

2nd Circuit upholds contempt conviction for Donziger

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York has upheld disbarred environmental lawyer Steven Donziger’s contempt conviction. The appeals court said a federal judge did not abuse his discretion by initiating Donziger’s prosecution, and the private lawyer appointed as prosecutor was constitutionally appointed. The contempt conviction was based on Donziger’s refusal to turn over electronic devices in a lawsuit against him by the Chevron Corp. He was sentenced to six months in prison. Chevron had contended that Donziger obtained a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against the oil company in Ecuador through fraud. (Law360, Reuters, the 2nd Circuit’s June 22 decision via How Appealing)

White House counsel is leaving

White House counsel Dana Remus is leaving her job. She will be replaced by her deputy counsel, Stuart Delery, who will be the first openly gay person in the role. (Reuters, NPR, the Hill)

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