Politics & Government

Former solicitor general Ted Olson to author brief opposing HB2

Attorney Ted Olson speaks to reporters after appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, March 26, 2013.
Attorney Ted Olson speaks to reporters after appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, March 26, 2013. NYT

Ted Olson, who served as solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration, will author an amicus brief in support of the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2.

Olson will write the brief on behalf of businesses backing the federal suit, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization.

Olson joined with David Boies to challenge California’s Proposition 8, which blocked same-sex marriage. The two opposed each other in another high-profile lawsuit: Bush vs. Gore, the Supreme Court case that decided the 2000 presidential election.

“We are proud that Ted Olson, one of the nation’s leading conservative legal minds, will lead a brief on behalf of the business community and advocate for the equal rights and dignity of transgender Americans,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

Last week, the Justice Department sued North Carolina, seeking an injunction to suspend HB2 while a judge determines whether it is illegal. Gov. Pat McCrory and state legislative leaders filed separate suits asking that a judge determine the law is not discriminatory.

The Justice Department says HB2 violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which governs employment, Title IX dealing with education and the Violence Against Women Act, which was reauthorized in 2013 to include gender identity as a protected class.

HB2 pre-empted a Charlotte anti-discrimination law that would have extended protections to LGBT people. The ordinance also would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

HB2, which the General Assembly passed in March, requires people in government facilities to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.

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