Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee
What's at Stake
Whether Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which generally prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded schools, bars public school students from also challenging sex discrimination as a violation of the Constitution.DECIDED
Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in order to prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded schools (subject to certain statutory exceptions). Title IX’s coverage is not co-extensive with the Equal Protection Clause and there is no indication that Congress intended to bar constitutional claims of sex discrimination in public schools when it adopted Title IX. The text, history and structure of Title IX all point in the opposite direction as set forth in the amicus brief submitted by the ACLU, the National Women’s Law Center, and 39 other civil rights groups. Properly understood, Title IX was intended to supplement, not replace, the right to equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution itself.