Jenner & Block achieved a significant early victory in its lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2, one of the most anti-LGBT laws in the nation. Among its provisions, House Bill 2 effectively prohibits transgender North Carolinians from using the restrooms or other facilities consistent with their gender identity where they live, learn and work. On August 26, 2016, a federal district court judge preliminarily enjoined the University of North Carolina (UNC) from enforcing House Bill 2 as to three plaintiffs represented by the firm – transgender students and employees at UNC institutions – holding that they are likely to succeed on the claim that House Bill 2 conflicts with the requirements of Title IX.
This decision followed months of effort by firm lawyers, working with colleagues from Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU ofNorth Carolina. In addition to extensive expedited briefing,the team marshaled hundreds of pages of evidence in support of the preliminary injunction motion, documenting the frenzied enactment of the bill, the anti-LGBT animus that inspired it and its harmful impact on tens of thousands of transgender North Carolinians. The decision also followed a nearly four-hour hearing held earlier in August, during which Jenner & Block Partner Paul M. Smith argued on behalf of the plaintiffs.
In granting the injunction, the court rejected arguments by UNC – raised in fourrounds of briefing and in many procedural guises – that the claims against it were not justiciable ones.
In addition to Mr. Smith, the team on the case includes Partners Scott B. Wilkens and Luke C. Platzer; Associates Mark P. Gaber, Lorenzo G. Di Silvio, Thomas D. Garza and Nicholas W. Tarasen; and Senior Paralegal Cheryl L. Olson.