Federal Judge Rules Michigan State in Violation of Title IX
A U.S. District Court judge rules that Michigan State University does not have to reinstate its women’s swimming and diving team despite not being in compliance with title law IX, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The judge ordered Michigan State to submit a plan within 60 days outlining how the university will comply with federal law that requires equal athletic opportunities for men and women, and also how it will reduce or eliminate the existing gap between the sexes.
“On the current record, the Court finds that MSU’s participation gap after accounting for natural fluctuations is approximately 31 opportunities for women, which is the average participation gap over the past eight years” , U.S. District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou wrote in a published notice. Monday. “…Over the past eight years, the participation gap has varied from 12 to about 50, with an average of 31. Over all these years, the gap has disadvantaged women.
Former members of the women’s swimming and diving team sued the university in January 2021 after Michigan State discontinued the program in October 2020. Plaintiffs claimed the move violated Title IX by offering fewer opportunities for women to participate in sport. They wanted the court to issue a preliminary injunction to immediately reinstate the program, which was initially denied in February 2021. The Sixth United States Court of Appeals reversed that decision and sent the case back to Jarbou.
The plaintiffs and the university presented their arguments for and against an injunction in federal court last month.
Jarbou’s ruling this week granted the motion for a preliminary injunction in part by ordering the State of Michigan to submit a compliance plan.
“It makes no sense to demand that MSU use its limited resources to temporarily reinstate the women’s swimming and diving team where, even if the plaintiffs are successful, MSU could chart a different course in a few months,” wrote Jarbou in the opinion. “These resources are better spent on what is more likely to be a long-term, sustainable compliance process.”
The state of Michigan has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, according to the Free press.