What is the Legal Basis of Your Action Against North Carolina’s HB2?

National Center for Public Policy Research to Ask Software Company Red Hat to Explain Its Legal Position that the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Make Basing Sex on Biology Illegal “Sex Discrimination”

Executives Will be Quizzed at Company Shareholder Meeting in Raleigh Today

Raleigh, N.C. / Washington, D.C. – At today’s annual meeting of Red Hat shareholders to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, at 8:30 AM, the National Center for Public Policy Research intends to ask Red Hat management for the legal rationale behind the company’s argument that assigning sex based on physiology constitutes illegal “sex discrimination” under federal law.

North Carolina passed a law, known as HB2, determining that public restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, including some in educational settings, should be used by individuals based on their biological sex. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has gone to federal court to argue the law should be thrown out because assigning sex by biology constitutes illegal “sex discrimination.”

The DOJ is arguing that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Education Act Amendments and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act, assigning a person a sex based on their physiology constitutes illegal sex discrimination.

Red Hat and 67 other major corporations have endorsed the DOJ’s position, although it is difficult to find anyone who argues that Congress, in 1964 and 1972, intended to define “sex” in any way other than biological, and Congress has not amended the definition of “sex discrimination” in those laws since.

The 2013 Violence Against Women Act, unlike the other two laws, does address gender identity, but the scope of that law is insufficient for reaching the DOJ’s goal of overturning HB2.

Critics, including the National Center for Public Policy Research, argue that accepting the DOJ’s new description of “sex discrimination” would be allowing the executive branch to re-write federal law without Congressional approval.

The National Center argues that it is important to continue the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine, whereby the legislative branch passes laws and the executive branch enforces them. If the executive branch can re-write laws, the National Center says, Congress eventually will become redundant, and the public will lose most of its input into what laws are passed.

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The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, established in 2007, is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In just the last two years, National Center representatives have participated in 87 shareholder meetings, advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.

Just this year, the Free Enterprise Project has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune, among many others.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s new book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech,” published by the Hachette Book Group.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.