President Trump’s Justice Department has dropped a lawsuit against the state following the repeal of HB2 last month.
Lawyers for the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss their lawsuit on Friday; the lawsuit was filed last May.
The Justice Department cited HB142, the repeal bill, in its reasoning for the motion for dismissal.
The compromise bill, signed by Gov. Roy Cooper at the end of March, repealed the law that required people to use the gender-specific facility that aligned with their birth certificate. The measure instituted a temporary ban on local governments enacting new nondiscrimination ordinances until Dec. 1, 2020. House Bill 142 also prohibits state agencies, municipalities and the University of North Carolina system from regulating access to bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, retaining that privilege for their body.
The lawsuit was originally filed under the Obama administration when Loretta Lynch was serving as attorney general.
When announcing the lawsuit, Lynch said, “This action is about a great deal more than bathrooms. This is about the dignity and respect we accord to our fellow citizens.”
The lawsuit was built on the argument that federal Title IX gender anti-discrimination law, meant to guarantee women the same access as men to education, applies to transgendered people choosing to live as a different gender.
However, under Trump’s leadership, the government has back away from the topic while courts take up the various lawsuits surrounding the issue.
This includes the separate lawsuits brought against the state by various LGBT rights organizations in the state.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already said that it will continue its lawsuit against the state.
In a prepared statement, James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project, said, “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. We’ll continue this fight as long as it takes to truly strike down this disastrous law for good.”
Lambda Legal is also a member in the lawsuit.
Former Gov. Pat McCrory, who is a named party in the lawsuit, said in a statement, “The Trump administration has taken a very reasonable and common sense action that is welcomed” in response to the motion to dismiss the case against him and the state.
Groups on the right and left have already come out against the compromise bill.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said the repeal was “nothing more than double-down on discrimination and would ensure North Carolina remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people. The consequences of this hateful law will only continue without full repeal of HB2. Sellouts cave under pressure. Leaders fight for what’s right.”
Chris Sgro, executive director if Equality NC, called the deal a “train wreck” that would “double down on anti-LGBTQ discrimination. North Carolinians want a clean repeal of HB2, and we urge our allies not to sell us out. Those who stand for equality and with LGBTQ people are standing strong against these antics. We’ve got less than 24 hours before the NCAA deadline. There is no time to waste – our leaders must fight for what’s right, and that is full repeal.”
On the right some conservatives also expressed disappointment.
“The leaders of our state have let the people of North Carolina down,” Tami Fitzgerald of the NC Values Coalition said in reaction to the passage of HB142. She added that the repeal of HB2 “leaves the state without a statewide public policy on privacy and safety in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers and simply kicks this debate three years down the road.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement that although the repeal measure “does not lead to the violation of the privacy of women and children by allowing the dangerous policies like Charlotte’s to be re-established, it does signal that elected officials are ultimately willing to surrender to the courts and the NCAA on matters of safety and public policy. Lawmakers who voted for this legislation have no right to complain about activist judges. LGBT groups’ fierce opposition to this compromise is very telling. For the Left, the only compromise they will accept is our total surrender.”