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Cardona institutes new Title IX rules

   On April 19, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona revised the Title IX policies to include protections for LGBTQ+ students and sexual assault survivors. The Biden administration issued two new regulations, extending the scope of Title IX protections.

  The first regulation establishes provisions for transgender students, ensuring that transgender students should not be treated differently from their fellow students. The new rule outlaws any schoolwide policies that can be considered discriminatory toward transgender students. Violations of the new rule include banning students from using facilities corresponding to their gender identity, ignoring a student’s chosen pronouns and refusing to address bullying related to a student’s gender identity.

  The Biden administration also restructured the system that colleges use to respond to sexual assault cases. Previously, students accused of sexual assault could cross-examine their accuser during the college’s Title IX proceedings. Now, the Biden administration has created alternatives that allow investigators to question witnesses separately. The new system also changed how evidence is weighed, suggesting colleges use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. As a result, investigators need to prove that the alleged assault is more likely than not.

   Cardona states that the new regulations will make schools safer for all students. He reiterates the importance of diversity and differences in the school system.

    “Our nation’s educational institutions should be places where we not only accept differences but celebrate them,” Cardona said.

The Title IX provisions received pushback from conservative lawmakers, who believe the Biden administration is pushing a political agenda. Rep. Virginia Foxx argued that the provision for transgender students supports liberal ideology.

“This final rule dumps kerosene on the already raging fire that is Democrats’ contemptuous culture war that aims to radically redefine sex and gender,” Foxx said in a statement.

photo courtesy Tribune Content Agency
photo courtesy Tribune Content Agency
Sotomayor faces calls to resign

  As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates 15 years of service, she faces growing calls to resign before the 2024 presidential election. The 69-year-old joined the court during the Obama administration, becoming the first Hispanic and Latina woman to serve in the nation’s highest court.

  The growing calls for Sotomayor to resign stem from Democrats’ fear that Sotomayor will follow in the footsteps of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsburg refused to resign in 2014, which would have allowed Obama to nominate a new justice and the Democrat-led Senate to approve his nomination. Six years later, Ginsburg died, which allowed the Trump administration to fill her seat with Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

  However, Sotomayor does not share Ginsburg’s health struggles during her time on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg battled cancer twice and was 81 when top Democrats called for her resignation. Sotomayor is only 69, and she has not disclosed any of her health struggles to the public, except for her lifelong battle with diabetes.

  Sotomayor’s resignation would allow President Biden to nominate another Supreme Court Justice, securing a 6-3 conservative majority before a new president comes into office in four or eight years.

  While none of the Democrats on the judicial committee publicly called for Sotomayor’s retirement, members such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal emphasized the importance of justices considering the public interest.

“Justices have to make their personal decisions about their health and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the court looks and thinks like America,” Blumenthal said.

photo courtesy Tribune Content Agency
photo courtesy Tribune Content Agency
Mayorkas avoids Senate impeachment trial

Last Wednesday, the Senate dismissed all impeachment charges against Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary. The dismissal occurred after the House impeached Mayorkas, making him the first cabinet member to be impeached.

  The homeland security secretary stands accused of neglecting to enforce immigration laws and making false statements to Congress. Members of the House argued that Mayorkas needs to be held responsible for the record-high number of border crossings.

    The Senate settled the matter with two votes, one for each charge. The series of votes determined if the charge was constitutional and would result in a Senate trial. If the Senate decided the charges were unconstitutional, then the case against Mayorkas would be dismissed.

  Senators voted 51-48 and 51-49 that the charges against Mayorkas were unconstitutional, failing to meet the criteria established by the impeachment clause in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution. The Constitution states, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

  The Senate ruled that the charges against Mayorkas could not be considered “high crimes or misdemeanors,” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer motioned to dismiss the case. Schumer claimed that Mayorkas followed the policies set forth by the Biden administration, an action not worthy of impeachment.

“To validate this gross abuse by the House would be a grave mistake and could set a dangerous precedent for the future,” Schumer said.

  Meanwhile, some senators argued that the Senate’s decision to halt the impeachment process is unprecedented. Typically, the Senate holds a floor trial or sends the case to a special committee rather than dismissing the charges outright.

“Tabling articles of impeachment would be unprecedented in the history of the Senate — it’s as simple as that,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

photo courtesy Tribune Content Agency
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