North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal [text, PDF] on Friday to withdraw a lawsuit in which the state sought a judgment declaring that the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act [text, PDF], also known as House Bill 2 (HB 2), did not violate federal law. HB 2 prevented cities and counties from enacting laws allowing transgender people to use the public restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity. In the notice, McCrory claimed that the defendants, the US and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] caused delays in the case by requesting a motion to dismiss and utilizing all of the time allotted to file an answer. The federal government also sued North Carolina over HB 2 in the Middle District of North Carolina [official website] in a suit that was consolidated with cases brought forth by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website]. The state’s Notice of Dismissal states that North Carolina’s arguments are already asserted as counterclaims in the the case brought forth by the DOJ, and McCrory is withdrawing this lawsuit because of “the substantial costs to [North Carolina] of litigating similar legal issues in two different judicial districts, and the interests of judicial economy and efficiency.”
North Carolina’s stance on LGBT rights has been a topic of national controversy. In April McCrory issued an executive order [JURIST report] to clarify HB 2 in response to significant backlash. In March North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper stated during a press conference that he would not defend [JURIST report] the law, which he considers to be discriminatory against the LGBT community. Earlier that week North Carolina individuals and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against McCrory, claiming that the bill he signed one week prior 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.