McCrory drops House Bill 2 lawsuit, cites costs

NC Gov. Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory filed a notice of dismissal Friday for one of North Carolina's lawsuits against the federal government, citing "substantial costs" of litigation.

McCrory filed the lawsuit in May, asking the federal court system to clarify federal law on the HB2 issue. The Department of Justice responded with a lawsuit of its own saying that part of the controversial law "constitutes a pattern or practice of employment discrimination on the basis of sex in violations of Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964".

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HB2 was designed to block a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, part of which allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. The state law requires people to use the restroom according to their biological sex listed on their birth certificate in government buildings, schools, and universities. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.

The Justice Department wanted the governor's lawsuit dismissed to streamline the legal battle over the state's law limiting protections for LGBT people.

The federal government argues that McCrory's lawyers "rushed to the courthouse" because they knew the Justice Department planned to sue the state. They say McCrory raises the same issues in litigation in the other court.

"In light of the fact that plaintiffs' claims in this action have now been asserted as counterclaims in the Middle District Case, the substantial costs to the State of litigating similar legal issues in two different judicial districts, and the interests of judicial economy and efficiency, plaintiffs feel compelled to file this notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice," the notice of dismissal reads.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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