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DOJ drops lawsuit against North Carolina over 'bathroom bill'

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Friday dropped a federal lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over a bill requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom associated with their birth gender. The DOJ originally filed [press release] the lawsuit against the state in May 2016. The Justice Department decided to drop the lawsuit due to North Carolina's repeal of the bill last month. The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal have stated that they will continue their lawsuit [Washington Post report] against the state. The repeal of House Bill 142, [text, PDF] included a provision that no new law regarding private employment practices or regulating public accommodations may be enacted before December 1, 2020. Critics of the bill state that this provision prevents the state from passing new laws to protect LGBT individuals.

House Bill 2 has triggered a series of legal actions since its passage last year. North Carolina repealed [JURIST report] House Bill 2 last month with the passage of House Bill 142. In February, six Democrats in the North Carolina House of Representatives filed a bill [JURIST report] to repeal HB2. Last May, former governor Pat McCrory filed a complaint for declaratory judgment asking the federal court to weigh in on the legality of the bill, but withdrew [JURIST reports] from the lawsuit in September. In March 2016 North Carolina individuals and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against McCrory, claiming that the bill was unconstitutional and discriminatory. Earlier that month McCrory signed the bill into law [JURIST report], preventing local governments from enacting their own nondiscrimination ordinances and making them unable to pass laws allowing transgender people to use the public restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.

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