Samantha Harris Quoted in USA Today Article: Biden Administration Proposes Protections for Transgender Students and Against Sexual Violence in Schools

Rows of old, wooden lecture hall seats facing a large black chalkboard in an empty classroom. many of the seats have graffiti on them.

June 23, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration released a proposal Thursday that would provide stronger protections against sex and gender discrimination on college campuses, as well as for anyone who claims they were the victim of sexual assault on campus.

The changes seek to overhaul a federal rule known as Title IX, which mandates federal regulations that affect men’s and women’s college athletics teams, how universities investigate sexual assault on their campuses, and protections for transgender or gay students. Title IX marked its 50th anniversary Thursday.

Samantha Harris, a partner at Allen Harris Law, a firm with offices in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, has represented students in hearings. She said the new rules would allow universities to adopt practices that would violate students’ due process rights, such as disciplinary hearings that don’t require cross-examination.

“Student conduct procedures should be aimed at maximizing the chances that the truth will be uncovered and an accurate result reached,” Harris said. “Live hearings with cross-examination – which the Supreme Court has called ‘the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth’ – are essential to the accuracy of these proceedings.”

She said she expects universities to drop hearings and cross-examinations should the rules be adopted. Harris said she also expects an “explosion of litigation” from students that were “denied due process and basic fairness by their universities.”

Read the full article here.