University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name United States v. State of North Carolina PA-NC-0004
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-00425 ( M.D. N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Education
Equal Employment
Public Accomm./Contracting
Special Collection Transgender Bathroom Access Cases
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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. 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 on the morning of May 9, in the Eastern District of North Carolina, seeking 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)). That case is in the Clearinghouse as PA-NC-0003, and is described there. A few hours later the U.S. filed this lawsuit, seeking to enjoin operation of HB2, in the U.S District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The DOJ sued the State of North Carolina under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.), under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.), and under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(13)). The DOJ sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the U.S. asked the Court to find that HB 2’s Part I—the part that instructs public agencies to deny transgender individuals access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity--violates federal law, and to issue an injunction ordering the state to stop violating the federal laws in question.

North Carolina’s Attorney General, Roy Cooper, has said that he agrees that HB2 is illegal, and has declined to defend it against this and the other lawsuits challenging it.

Ryan Berry - 05/31/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Supremacy Clause
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Bathing and hygiene
Bathrooms
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) State of North Carolina
Plaintiff Description U.S Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
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-0003 : McCrory v. United States (E.D.N.C.)
PA-NC-0002 : Carcaño v. McCrory (M.D. N.C.)
PA-NC-0006 : Berger v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
PA-NC-0005 : North Carolinians for Privacy v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Links Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Posted: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-00425 (M.D. N.C.) 05/17/2016
PA-NC-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/09/2016
PA-NC-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schroeder, Thomas D. (M.D. N.C.)
PA-NC-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bensing, Dwayne J. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Cummings, Torey B. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Davidson, Jon Warren (California)
PA-NC-0004-9000
Keveney, Sean R. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Kisch, Lori B. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Pellegrino, Whitney Marin (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Phoenix, Candyce Danielle (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Rand, Ripley (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Stoughton, Corey L. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-0001 | PA-NC-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Duncan, S. Kyle (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0004-9000
Potter, Robert D. Jr. (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -