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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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August 30, 2023

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed an amicus brief to defend Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded schools. When Congress enacted Title IX, it included a narrow exemption for schools controlled by religious institutions that have tenets incompatible with Title IX. However, in 2020, the Department of Education used administrative rulemaking to expand this narrow religious exemption. Raoul joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought on behalf of students opposing this rule.

“Schools have a duty to prevent and address discrimination and harassment,” Raoul said. “If a school is claiming an exemption to Title IX, students have a right to be aware of that when they choose to attend, and schools should never be allowed to claim an exemption after the fact in response to a complaint. I am proud to stand with my fellow attorneys general to defend Title IX and protect students from discrimination and harassment.”

In 2020, the Department of Education eliminated the requirement that educational institutions advise the Office for Civil Rights in writing if they wanted to invoke a religious exemption. As a result, schools could invoke the exemption, without notice, in response to a student’s complaint. Raoul and the attorneys general argue that the rule, adopted at the end of the prior presidential administration, is invalid. According to the coalition, this new regulation significantly weakens protections from discrimination on religious grounds and makes it difficult for prospective students to tell which schools are claiming a religious exception.

Raoul was joined in filing the brief by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.