The Department of Justice on Friday
announced that it has voluntarily withdrawn a lawsuit challenging
North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2.
The lawsuit was filed last year by
former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
House Bill 2 was approve by Republican
leaders during a one day special session. It blocked cities and
municipalities from enacting LGBT protections and was the first state
law to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their
choice in many buildings.
Late last month, Democratic Governor
Roy Cooper signed a compromise deal to repeal House Bill 2. The new
law, House Bill 142, repeals House Bill 2, but it also leaves
bathroom regulation to the state and enacts a moratorium on local
LGBT ordinances until December 1, 2020.
Roy Cooper signs deal to repeal anti-LGBT law.)
The Justice Department, which is now
headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, cited the new law in
announcing its decision.
“In light of the passage of North
Carolina Session Law 2017-4, House Bill 142, and pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. P. 41, the Parties in the above-captioned action hereby
stipulate that all claims or causes of action against Defendants and
all counterclaims against Plaintiff which were the subject matter of
this lawsuit are hereby dismissed with prejudice,” the department
said in a 5-page notice.
Lynch argued in the lawsuit that House
Bill 2 violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX
of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women
Reauthorization Act of 2013.
Jon W. Davidson, legal director at
Lambda Legal, said in a statement that the Trump administration and
Sessions were using the “fake repeal of HB2 as cover” to withdraw
the government's support for transgender people.
“Sadly, this was not unexpected, now
that anti-transgender forces are in charge of the Departments of
Justice and Education,” Davidson said. “Once again, the Trump
administration continues to abandon transgender Americans.”
A separate lawsuit filed by the
American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and Lambda Legal
will continue. The groups said they will amend their challenge to
include House Bill 142.