ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

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ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby aviel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:28 pm

North Carolina recently passed a law that requires all people, including transgendered people, to use the bathrooms associated with the genders listed on their birth certificates, and that prohibits local governments from protecting transgendered and gay people from discrimination. The ACLU filed a complaint in Federal court to seek a declaration that the law was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, and the enjoin enforcement of the law.

The ACLU seems to have an extremely strong case here. The Supreme Court struck down a nearly identical law (though applying only to homosexuals rather than transgender people) 20 years ago in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996). Since then, the Supreme Court has never once sided against a party claiming that they were being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.

The complaint also seeks suspect classification for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This would make it harder to pass laws discriminatory against LGBT persons, because those laws would have to further a substantial government interest, and be narrowly tailored to further that goal. The Supreme Court has never ruled as to the standard of scrutiny used for discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and its latest opinions on the issue of discrimination against gay people have been unclear as to the standard of scrutiny used; see Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015); United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013).

The ACLU is also making substantive due process claims, but I don't think those will be reached. Their case is strong enough on the equal protection issue that it is hard for me to imagine that the law will survive the circuit court. Romer v. Evans, as precedent, is far too on point for the law to be upheld, and because Romer v. Evans only used rational basis analysis, the courts would have difficulty upholding the law no matter how little respect they have for the rights of LGBT persons.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Absentia » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:45 pm

For background: Charlotte recently passed a city ordinance that explicitly allowed trans people to use the bathroom appropriate to their gender identity, which was to take effect on April 1. The state legislature wasn't scheduled to meet until later in April, and Republicans called an emergency session last week for the express purpose of drafting legislation to supersede the local law. Let me say that again: They were so upset that somebody with a penis might use a women's bathroom that they couldn't even wait a couple of weeks for the regular session so they called an emergency session at taxpayers' expense, and apparently in the rush they neglected to consider whether this law they shat out would stand up to basic legal scrutiny.

It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:58 pm

They even went so far as to outlaw further attempts at seeking legal protections. Or was that Georgia?

They really should make this whole type of legislation illegal. I mean, it's wasting taxpayer money for the purpose of inciting discrimination against a protected class.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby iMURDAu » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:10 pm

There goes my dream of being a sworn in as an Official Public Pubic Verification Specialist in the great state of North Carolina. Thanks a lot liberals.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Tesseracts » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:34 pm

I'm angry that people are trying to limit our bathroom freedoms. The only reason this is an issue now is because gay marriage is legal, so they found a new way to oppress minorities. There's just a whole bunch of bigots out there who are constantly looking for ways to fuck us over.

It's very telling that the complaint is always about women with dicks, and never about men who have vaginas.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:52 pm

If they need to discriminate so badly, why can't they discriminate against something stupid that no one cares about, like rocks, tilapia, or otherkin?
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby aviel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:56 pm

Ericthebearjew wrote:They even went so far as to outlaw further attempts at seeking legal protections.

This was North Carolina (Georgia's law was vetoed), and it's precisely the kind of legislation overruled in Romer v. Evans.

They really should make this whole type of legislation illegal. I mean, it's wasting taxpayer money for the purpose of inciting discrimination against a protected class.

They did make it illegal, in 1868, when they added the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. I expect Federal courts to rule as such.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:00 pm

aviel wrote:
Ericthebearjew wrote:They did make it illegal, in 1868, when they added the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. I expect Federal courts to rule as such.

Well, yeah, but I was thinking more along the lines of fines, and jail time for whoever drafted the dam thing.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby aviel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:09 pm

You can't imprison legislators for passing legislation, even if it ends up being unconstitutional. We live in a Constitutional democracy, nor a dictatorship of the judiciary. That said, 42 U.S.C. 1983 authorizes monetary damages against the officers responsible for enforcing an unconstitutional statute (the state itself can't be sued), but they're usually indemnified against those kinds of suits by the state.
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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:27 pm

Well they should know better than to be bigoted.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby aviel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:32 pm

Regardless, your personal frustration with these legislators doesn't have any bearing on judicial policy.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Tesseracts » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:44 pm

I THINK ALL EXTREMISTS SHOULD BE SHOT.
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby aviel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:58 pm

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Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:24 pm

Tesseracts wrote:I'm angry that people are trying to limit our bathroom freedoms. The only reason this is an issue now is because gay marriage is legal, so they found a new way to oppress minorities. There's just a whole bunch of bigots out there who are constantly looking for ways to fuck us over.

It's very telling that the complaint is always about women with dicks, and never about men who have vaginas.


More specifically, the complaint seems to be about male predators taking advantage of laws like the one Charlotte passed in order to prey on girls or women. This article is pretty typical in its argument:

I read these reports, and my heart starts to race. They can’t be serious. Let me be clear: I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children.


http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/23/a-r ... bathrooms/

I can think of a lot of satisfyingly sarcastic responses to this, but none of them really address the central point that allowing someone who looks for all the world like a man to freely enter women's bathrooms as long as "she" claims to be a woman creates a loophole that predators could easily exploit.

However, that article then asserts that "this isn't a fantasy, it already happens", citing examples of men who disguised themselves as women to get into women's bathrooms and got their perv on...which unwittingly weakens the argument's force somewhat in my mind, since it demonstrates that predators don't need the transgender loophole to accomplish the same goal. In other words, transgender-friendly privacy laws don't molest people, people molest people.

(Presumably, the only way to stop a bad guy with a transgender-friendly privacy law is a good guy with a transgender-friendly privacy law, and thus transgender-friendly privacy law rights need to be enshrined in the Constitution as well)
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Re: ACLU Files Complaint Against Discriminatory NC Law

Postby sunglasses » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:31 pm

Some transmen have pointed out that because (as per the NC law) their birth certificate says 'female' they'd have to use the women's restroom-even if they have a fabulous beard. They rightly pointed out that the legislature often forgets about them and they doubted that this is what they intended. Good points, I thought.

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