CURE Policy calls for Senators to vote against nomination of Catherine Lhamon

For immediate release: August 5, 2021

Washington, D.C. – As the vote looms near for Catherine Lhamon to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) sent an urgent letter warning U.S. Senators about Ms. Lhamon’s disastrous history of bullying schools, gutting constitutional rights of students, and flagrantly inappropriate conduct and comments.

In the letter signed by CURE President Star Parker, Director of Governmental Relations Marty Dannenfelser, and Director of CURE’s Clergy Center Reverend Tim Latiff, CURE notes guidance Ms. Lhamon enforced when she held this position in the Obama Administration. The guidance not only violated the First Amendment and disregarded due process protections in campus disciplinary hearings, but Ms. Lhamon went beyond the scope of her authority and made threats in enforcing this guidance.

As the letter highlights, Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee stated in a July 13th hearing that “Ms. Lhamon bullied schools into complying with guidance by telling them that they could lose federal funding – the ultimate punishment that has rarely been used – if they did not abide by the guidance documents, saying, and this is a quote, ‘do not think it’s an empty threat.” Over 500 accused students ended up filing lawsuits against colleges and universities that enforced this guidance.

The letter also brings attention to egregious comments Ms. Lhamon has made in regard to former Secretary Betsy Devos, as well as comments Ms. Lhamon made that “suggest that she will not protect female student athletes from unfair competition involving biological males, nor will she protect the privacy rights of female athletes.”

The letter ends by urging all Senators to “protect the civil rights of all college and university students by voting against the inappropriate nomination of Catherine Lhamon. The American people deserve better.”

The HELP Committee voted on Tuesday to advance Ms. Lhamon’s nomination along an 11-11 evenly split vote. Her nomination is expected to be brought before the full Senate for a vote later this year.

For more information, please go to CUREpolicy.org or contact [email protected]

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