Title IX Legal Manual ::

Department of Justice Role Under Title IX

The Department of Justice has two roles to play in Title IX enforcement: coordination of federal agency implementation and enforcement, and legal representation of the United States and the funding agency. Pursuant to Exec. Order No. 12250, the Attorney General shall "coordinate the implementation and enforcement by Executive agencies" of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and "any other provision of federal statutory law which provides, in whole or in part, that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, handicap, religion, or sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Exec. Order No. 12250 §1-201. Except for approval of agency regulations implementing Title IX and Title VI and the issuance of coordinating regulations, all other responsibilities have been delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. While each federal agency extending federal financial assistance has primary responsibility for implementing Title IX with respect to its recipients, overall coordination in identifying legal and operational standards, and ensuring consistent application and enforcement, rests with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In interpreting Title IX, the Department will look closely at, and coordinate and consult with, the Department of Education, the agency with the most Title IX experience and the agency with the regulations that served as the basis for the Title IX common rule.

As part of the Department of Justice's Executive Order 12250 coordinating authority, the Civil Rights Division coordinated the drafting and publication of a common rule providing for the enforcement of Title IX by several participating agencies.131 On October 29, 1999, the participating agencies published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement Title IX.132 After receiving and reviewing comments, the agencies published the final Title IX rule on August 30, 2000.133

The Department of Justice's second role is as the federal government's litigator. As discussed in Chapter VII, the Department of Justice, on behalf of Executive agencies, may seek injunctive relief, specific performance, or other remedies when agencies have referred determinations of noncompliance by recipients to the Department for judicial enforcement. Such litigation will be assigned to the Department's Civil Rights Division. In addition, the Department is responsible for representing agency officials should they be named in private litigation involving Title IX.