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73 Okla. L. Rev. 15 (2020-2021)
Standing in between Sexual Violence Victims and Access to Justice: The Limits of Title IX

handle is hein.journals/oklrv73 and id is 22 raw text is: STANDING IN BETWEEN SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Sexual violence proliferates across communities, generally, and is
especially prevalent in places like colleges and universities. As quasi-closed
systems, colleges and universities are governed by their own internal
norms, policies, and federal laws, like Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, which address how sex discrimination must be
handled in institutions of higher education that are in receipt of federal
funds. Title IX focuses on all facets of sex discrimination including
reporting, investigation, adjudication, and prevention. When schools are
accused offailing to adequately respond to reports of sexual misconduct on
their campuses, Title IX has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to
provide a private right of action by which victims can hold institutions
In the most typical cases, one enrolled student accuses another enrolled
student of sexual assault. The university investigates, perhaps holds a
hearing panel, issues a determination after applying the relevant
evidentiary  standard, and, where   warranted, imposes appropriate
sanctions. If a student victim is dissatisfied with the institutional response,
they have the right to sue the school in federal court. Not all cases follow
this typical example, however, raising the question of who, specifically, is
entitled to avail themselves of the protections of Title IX Sometimes victims
are visitors or outsiders who have been raped or assaulted on campus by
enrolled students. Their right to sue educational institutions has been called
into question by courts that have denied them standing to sue the schools in
federal court.
Historically, some judges have used the standing doctrine to deny access
to the courts to certain minority groups. Victims of sexual violence
* Vice Dean for Academic & Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Law,
California Western School of Law. JD, University of Iowa. I am grateful to Professors Erin
Sheley and Melissa Mortazavi, and the Oklahoma Law Review, for bringing attention to
these important issues and for hosting the symposium, Drawing the Line: Modern Sexual
Conflicts and the Law. My fellow panelists and participants offered invaluable insights.
Sasha Jamshidi provided excellent research assistance.


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