Attorneys for the three transgender residents who persuaded a U.S. district judge to prevent enforcement of House Bill 2 by UNC schools for those three people would like to see broader curbs of the law while they await trial.
The ACLU and Lambda Legal announced on Monday that their lawyers plan to appeal part of U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder’s ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals.
In the announcement, the groups challenging the law announced plans to ask the appellate judges “to protect all transgender people in North Carolina from the harms imposed by HB2.”
“We are thrilled that HB2 is starting to crumble and relieved for our clients who have had a huge burden lifted as a result of the court’s Friday ruling,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, in a statement. “But we know the harmful effects of HB2 are far reaching, and that is why we are seeking broader relief for the thousands of transgender people who call North Carolina home.”
The 4th Circuit court, where the appeal will be weighed, already has ruled in a Virginia case that Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational environments, covers gender identity.
That ruling is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the justices temporarily blocked the enforcement of that ruling while the high court is on recess, but that action did not overturn the appellate ruling.
Schroeder’s ruling, which was issued late Friday, stated that the three transgender residents, a lesbian couple from Charlotte and a lesbian N.C. Central University law professor were likely to succeed in their claims that HB2 violated Title IX.
Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, said in his ruling that the HB2 challengers had “not made a clear showing” that they would prevail in their claim that the law violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
While the HB2 challengers celebrated the first judicial rebuke of North Carolina’s highly publicized law, which requires people in schools, universities and other government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates, advocates also found some reward in Schroeder’s ruling.
“While the court granted a limited injunction for three individuals, we are pleased it preserved the common-sense protections to keep grown men out of bathrooms and showers with women and young girls for our public schools and for nearly 10 million North Carolinians statewide,” House Speaker Tim Moore and Phil Berger, the president pro tempore of the State Senate, said in a joint statement.