Fryberger v. University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Public Justice joined an amici brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in this Title IX damages action against a university for acting with deliberate indifference to student-on-student sexual violence. Six states filed an amici brief arguing that all states and state entities—including state universities—have sovereign immunity from private damages actions under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. The amici brief argues that the plain language of a 1986 amendment to Title IX and other civil rights laws, known as the “Civil Rights Remedies Equalization Act” (“CRREA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-7, shows that Title IX clearly waives the states’ immunity to damages actions. The brief also explains how important Title IX damages actions are in addressing sex discrimination in education.
On November 22, 2017, the United States Department of Justice intervened in the case, supporting the sexual assault survivor’s position that the university is not immune from her Title IX damages claim.
On May 2, 2018, the Eighth Circuit held that the state university did not have sovereign immunity from a private damages lawsuit under Title IX.