Title IX Critic Nominated to DC Circuit Court
On Monday, President Bush nominated Title IX critic Thomas Griffith of Utah to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the country. Griffith is currently the senior legal counsel for the Mormon-affiliated Brigham Young University and served as the director of religious education for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) in Baltimore, the Washington Post reports. Griffith was a member of the President's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics that recommended weakening enforcement of Title IX , the landmark 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education.
USA Today reports that while on the Commission, Griffith proposed removing the proportionality test as one of the three test options for schools to comply with Title IX athletics requirements. Griffith's proposal failed by a vote of 11-4. When asked by another commission member how his position stands up to the eight federal courts that have upheld the use of the proportionality test, Griffith replied, "They said it was a reasonable interpretation, not required. I believe they're wrong."
"Title IX has been instrumental in providing equal opportunities for women and girls in education, including sports. Such a detractor of equal opportunity in education must not be given this position of power to gut Title IX," warns FMF Educational Equity Director Sue Klein. "This is yet another in a line of attempts by this Administration to diminish the effectiveness of Title IX. In March, the Administration proposed weakening Title IX regs by making it significantly easier for schools to segregate classes and even schools by sex."
The Feminist Majority is working as part of a coalition of women's rights, civil rights, environment, disability rights, and labor groups to stop the federal courts from being packed with far-right nominees.
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Media Resources: Feminist Daily News Wire; Washington Post 5/11/04; USA Today 1/31/03