A judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina [official website] ruled [order, PDF] Sunday that a lawsuit against North Carolina’s new “bathroom bill,” which prohibits local governments from enacting new anti-discrimination laws regarding multiple occupancy restrooms, can move forward.
The case was originally brought by a group of transgender individuals challenging the state’s 2016 “bathroom bill,” House Bill 2 (HB2) [text, PDF]. HB2 was repealed [JURIST report] last year after facing a number of legal challenges and subsequently replaced by current restrictions under House Bill 142 (HB142) [text, PDF].
HB142 effectively requires all anti-discrimination laws pertaining to multiple occupancy restrooms to be passed through the state government.
In issuing the order, Judge Thomas Schroeder dismissed the plaintiffs’ Due Process, Title IX and Title VII claims arising under the new law which were alleged to result from the uncertainty transgender individuals have faced as to which restrooms they are legally allowed to use in light of the law.
Schroeder, however, allowed the suit to continue on Equal Protection grounds, stating that “[w]hile HB142 does not prohibit Plaintiffs’ efforts at advocacy, it plainly makes them meaningless by prohibiting even the prospect of relief at the local level.”