Requests to halt implementation of HB2 to be heard in court next

Requests to halt implementation of HB2 to be heard in court next month

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)

A federal judge is set to hear arguments over whether the implementation of House Bill 2 should be delayed early next month.

According to an order signed by Judge Thomas D. Schroeder, all of the parties involved in various lawsuits over House Bill 2 will appear in a federal courtroom August 1 in Winston-Salem.

The order cites that four cases over HB2 will tentatively take place in late October or early November 2016, but the judge didn't want to delay a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Joaquin Carcaño, a transgender employee of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in late March.

Carcaño was joined by a transgender student at UNC-Greensboro, a  lesbian Associate Dean and Professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and Equality NC.

Last week, the United States Department of Justice filed additional paperwork asking a federal judge to halt implementation of controversial legislation requiring individuals to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced in May her department was taking action to permanently stop HB2.

Attorneys for the DOJ outlined their argument as to why the law should be stopped in a 70-page legal brief.

RELATED: Department of Justice asks judge to halt implementation of HB2

The brief reiterates arguments previously made by the government in opposition to HB2, including claims that the law violations the Violence Against Women Act and Title IX, which requires educational institutions to provide equal access and treatment to students of all genders.

The brief goes on to say "privacy and public safety concerns do not justify HB2's discrimination."

The DOJ's case was not expected to be ready until nearly mid-September, according to the judge's order, but felt this schedule would "permit the the court to expeditiously address the claims and defenses in the United States’ action, as well as those in the related HB2 cases, without undue prejudice to the parties."

The announcement of the federal court hearing comes less than two weeks after the North Carolina General Assembly failed to pass a bill that would have made a number of changes to HB2.

A draft of the legislation was exclusively obtained by On Your Side Investigates. Under the proposal, transgender individuals would have been able to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender with a 'certificate of sex reassignment'. The bill would also have established a blue ribbon commission to study issues surrounding equal rights.

RELATED: NC House leadership drafts HB2 changes amid pressure from NBA

When WBTV first published details of the proposal, a person with knowledge of the NBA's plans for the 2017 All Star game--currently scheduled to be played in Charlotte--said passage of the legislation would have gone a long way towards persuading the league to keep the game in the Queen City.

Later in the week, though, the NBA said it opposed the draft legislation.

Ultimately, the legislature voted only to change a portion of HB2 that stripped workers of the right to sue their employers for wrongful termination.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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