Attorney General Rutledge featured for fighting university claims by sexual assault victims | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Attorney General Rutledge featured for fighting university claims by sexual assault victims

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:04 PM

click to enlarge UA: Fighting suit by campus rape victim.
  • UA: Fighting suit by campus rape victim.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's broad allegiance with national Republican litigation goals — protecting polluters, discriminating against gay people — now includes work against sexual assault victims making claims against public universities.

BuzzFeed has posted a feature on the fight.  Civil rights groups think states have been empowered by Trump to restrict students' rights to sue under Title IX.

Arkansas is in the middle of the fight, which might reach the U.S. Supreme Court thanks to Republican legal officer work, including Rutledge.

The University of Arkansas was hit with a Title IX lawsuit last year by a former student, Elizabeth Fryberger, who says the school mishandled her sexual assault case. The university filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming sovereign immunity protections under the 11th Amendment protect state institutions from being sued for damages in federal court over Title IX violations. After a federal district court denied the motion, the university in December appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

“It is a radical approach,” said Adele Kimmel, an attorney at the firm Public Justice, which co-signed an amicus brief in support of Fryberger. Kimmel traced the university’s approach to the election of President Donald Trump. “What I think is happening here is that some states are feeling empowered by the change in administration to try and press for a more restrictive view of Title IX,” she said.

In defense, you hear a lot about states' rights and not much sympathy for sexual assault victims.

The offices that responded to BuzzFeed News’s request for comment said the case highlights an important legal question about states’ immunity from having to pay damages in federal lawsuits.

The outcome of the case “has far reaching implications on Arkansas’s sovereignty and our taxpayer dollars,” Judd Deere, a spokesman for the office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, told BuzzFeed News.

... The University of Arkansas argued in its appellate brief filed last week that it can only be taken to federal court under Title IX for injunctive relief, meaning a student could demand the school handle a case differently but not collect monetary damages. The school points to the 1986 federal law that says people can sue in federal court for Title IX violations, but doesn’t explicitly say plaintiffs can collect damages.
UA has not distinguished itself in this case, marked by seemingly preferential treatment for a male student who happened to be a scholarship athlete. The UA says victims have other alternatives, including state court lawsuits and criminal charges.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation