91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

US Supreme Court declines to intervene in Michigan State University Title IX lawsuit

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The United States Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on a lawsuit against Michigan State University involving Title IX.

The lawsuit involves MSU’s decision to drop Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving programs from its athletic department. The university cited financial savings as the reason to cut the programs.

The decision affected more female athletes than male athletes.

Female athletes filed suit, claiming the decision violated the federal Title IX law. The law prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school that receives funding from the federal government.

A lower court judge originally sided with MSU. But a federal appeals court reversed that decision. MSU wanted the nation’s highest court to intervene. Specifically, the university asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a question about how to interpret the law.

However, on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined.

Attorney Lori Bullock represents the athletes. She said they’re pleased but not surprised the Supreme Court denied MSU's request.

"We believe the facts clearly show that Michigan State violated Title IX by eliminating its women's swimming and diving team. We look forward to holding the school accountable,” said Bullock in a written statement.

MSU spokesman Dan Olsen said university officials are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene.

“Over the coming days and weeks, MSU will focus on the trial court proceedings, including the submission of a compliance plan,” said Olsen in a written statement.

A federal district judge has given MSU until later this month to submit a Title IX compliance plan.

The lawsuit is currently scheduled to go to trial next month.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.