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Case Name McCrory v. United States PA-NC-0003
Docket / Court 5:16-cv-00238 ( E.D.N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Education
Equal Employment
Public Accomm./Contracting
Special Collection Transgender Bathroom Access Cases
Case Summary
This is one of several federal lawsuits addressing North Carolina Session Law 2016-3, House Bill 2 (“H.B. 2”), which was passed in March 23, 2016. For the others, see related cases section, below.

On February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed Ordinance 7056, which ... read more >
This is one of several federal lawsuits addressing North Carolina Session Law 2016-3, House Bill 2 (“H.B. 2”), which was passed in March 23, 2016. For the others, see related cases section, below.

On February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed Ordinance 7056, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations, passenger vehicle for hire, and city contractors. The city ordinance was set to take effect on April 1, 2016.

In response, on March 23, 2016, the North Carolina legislature held a special session and passed House Bill 2; it was signed that same day by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. HB2 prohibits municipalities in North Carolina from enacting anti-discrimination policies and removes the statutory and common-law private right of action to enforce state anti-discrimination statutes in state courts. It also requires that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. For many transgender people, this prevents them from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity (in North Carolina, only people who undergo sex reassignment surgery can change the sex on their birth certificates; some other jurisdictions have even more restrictive rules. In addition, the legislation changes the definition of sex in the state's anti-discrimination law to "the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate,” which prevents discrimination against transgender people from being classified as a type of sex discrimination.

On May 4, in a letter to Governor Pat McCrory the Justice Department informed him that the U.S. had concluded that HB2 violates federal law—specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, which forbids sex discrimination in employment; Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, which forbids sex discrimination in education; and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), 42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(13). The DOJ asked the Governor to respond by close of business on May 9 that he will remedy the violations, "including by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2."

Instead of providing the demanded assurances, the Governor sued the United States under 28 U.S.C. § 2201 on the morning of May 9, in the Eastern District of North Carolina. He sought a declaratory judgment saying that HB2 did not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.), or the Violence Against Woman Act (42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(13)). He argued that transgender individuals aren’t a protected class under Title VII, and that even if the VAWA includes gender identity as a protected class HB2 isn’t discriminatory because it allows accommodations for special circumstances which include transgender individuals. Notably, the complaint does not mention Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972.

On May 17, Governor McCrory asked the court to transfer the case to the Middle District of North Carolina, where cases challenging HB2 were have been filed by the ACLU and the DOJ, in order to consolidate or better manage those cases. Those cases are Carcano v. McCroy and United States v. State of North Carolina, and they can be found below in the related cases section. The court has not yet ruled on this transfer issue.

There are, in addition, two other cases brought in this district by private parties against the DOJ on the same topic--Berger v. United States Department of Justice and North Carolinians for Privacy v. United States Department of Justice (also below in the related cases section). Plaintiffs in those cases filed motions on May 23 and May 24 respectively, to consolidate their cases with this one. On June 13, Judge Terrence Boyle issued an order indicating that he would allow this case to be consolidated with the Berger case (he didn't mention the North Carolinians for Privacy Case). The judge assigned to the other two cases, Judge Louise Wood Flannagan, has set a hearing to determine whether the cases should be consolidated for June 21, 2016.

Ryan Berry - 06/16/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Federalism
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sexual orientatation
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Bathing and hygiene
Bathrooms
Buildings
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Government Services (specify)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description The governor and other senior officials of North Carolina
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PA-NC-0004 : United States v. State of North Carolina (M.D. N.C.)
PA-NC-0002 : Carcaño v. McCrory (M.D. N.C.)
PA-NC-0005 : North Carolinians for Privacy v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
PA-NC-0006 : Berger v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
Docket(s)
5:16-cv-00238-BO (E.D.N.C.) 05/26/2016
PA-NC-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice to Gov. Pat McCrory [regarding violation of Civil Rights Act] 05/04/2016
PA-NC-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Complaint 05/09/2016
PA-NC-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bowers, Karl S. (South Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-0001 | PA-NC-0003-9000
Brooks, Brennan Tyler (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Gordon, Frank J. (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Stephens, Robert C. (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-0001
Stewart, William Woodley Jr. (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-0001 | PA-NC-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0003-0002 | PA-NC-0003-9000
Lynch, Loretta (New York)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Campbell, James A. (Arizona)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Cortman, David A. (Georgia)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Dalton, J. Caleb (Arizona)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Dewart, Deborah Jane (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Duncan, Stuart Kyle (Louisiana)
PA-NC-0003-9000
La Rue, Joseph E. (Arizona)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Potter, Robert D. Jr. (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Sharp, John Matthew (Georgia)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Tedesco, Jeremy D. (Arizona)
PA-NC-0003-9000
Waggoner, Kristen Kellie (Washington)
PA-NC-0003-9000

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