Neal v. Board of Trustees of the California State University

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Addressed a challenge to the three-part participation test for compliance with Title IX promulgated by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Full Case Title: 

Neal v. Board of Trustees of the California State University, 198 F.3d 763 (9th Cir. 1999)
  • Equal Educational Opportunities


  • Sex-Based Classification
  • Joined Amicus Brief


The plaintiffs in this case were wrestlers and wrestling coaches who sued California State University, Bakersfield, claiming that the setting of squad size targets for its mens' teams discriminated against men in violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection clause.  The school had capped its men’s teams pursuant to a consent decree entered into after California NOW sued under state law. 

In December 1999, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Title IX does not bar universities from taking steps to ensure equal participation by women in sports programs.  Legal Momentum joined an amicus brief filed by the National Women’s Law Center.  Our brief argued that the three-part test was consistent both the Title IX’s purpose and the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.