In an opinion today, Judge Furman ruled that a male student, who was suspended from Columbia University for sexual assault, did not allege facts sufficient to go forward with his gender discrimination suit against the school.  The plaintiff alleged that the school’s disciplinary process was unfair and came to the wrong conclusion, but Judge Furman found that he failed “to establish gender as a plausible motivating factor behind the investigation and ultimate punishment”:

At most, the Complaint identifies inadequate procedural protections provided to students accused of sexual assault — and behavior by campus officials towards such students more generally — that have the effect of burdening men more than women, given “the higher incidence of female complainants of sexual misconduct [versus] male complainants of sexual misconduct.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 138). But, as the Court noted above — and as Plaintiff himself effectively acknowledges (see Pl.’s Mem. 14-15) — Title IX does not provide a private right of action to challenge disciplinary policies based on disparate impact. Instead, to state a selective enforcement claim under Title IX, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to give rise to an inference that the school intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff because of his or her sex — that the school acted “at least in part ‘because of,’ not merely ‘in spite of,’ its adverse effects upon [the protected] group.” . . .  [T]he Court does not mean to suggest that, in order to survive a motion to dismiss, a male plaintiff in Plaintiff’s position must necessarily be able to allege that a female student charged with sexual assault was treated differently. Given the allegedly higher incidence of male-on-female sexual assaults (and sexual assault complaints) on campus (see Am. Compl. ¶ 138), that could pose an impossible pleading burden in some cases. But a plaintiff must allege something more than what Plaintiff alleges here — by, for example, including “comparisons to accounts of other accused students”; “allegations that similarly situated women are or even men would be treated differently”; or, at a minimum, “data showing that women rarely, if ever, are accused of sexual harassment, coupled perhaps with evidence that women accused of other [university] rules violations are treated differently than men are.”