Justice Department Drops HB 2 Lawsuit | News

Justice Department Drops HB 2 Lawsuit

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Attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department filed a motion today to dismiss a lawsuit over House Bill 2 "in light of the passage of North Carolina Session Law 2017-4, House Bill 142."

The lawsuit, filed in May 2016, had accused the state of requiring "public agencies to follow a facially discriminatory policy of treating transgender individuals, whose gender identity may not match their birth certificates, differently from similarly situated non-transgender individuals."
ILLUSTRATION BY SKILLET GILMORE
  • Illustration by Skillet Gilmore

Although House Bill 142 does repeal HB 2, it still prohibits local governments from regulating bathroom access and bars the passage of local nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020. So, like its predecessor, it basically does nothing to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination, although it was enough to curry the favor of the ACC and NCAA, which had pulled tournaments from North Carolina as a result of HB 2.

Jon W. Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal, which is involved with a separate HB 2 lawsuit, called the dismissal "yet another instance of the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrawing the federal government’s support from transgender individuals."
“Sadly, this was not unexpected, now that anti-transgender forces are in charge of the Departments of Justice and Education," Davidson said in a joint-statement with the American Civil Liberties Union, who are also representing the plaintiffs in Carcaño v. McCrory (now Carcaño v. Cooper) "Once again, the Trump administration continues to abandon transgender Americans.”

Lambda Legal and the ACLU say they will continue that lawsuit.

“The Trump Administration may want to use the fake repeal of HB 2 as an excuse to further turn their backs on the transgender community, but the rest of us aren’t going to give up that easily,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “We’ll continue this fight as long as it takes to truly strike down this disastrous law for good."

Dallas Woodhouse, NCGOP director, had a different view of the dismissal. "We are once again seeing the Trump administration reign in the excess of the hyper-partisan Obama Justice Department — a trend we hope and expect to continue," he said.

Here's the joint-statement he released with former Governor Pat McCrory:
doj_gop_statement.jpg

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