North Carolina sues U.S. Justice Department in defense of HB2

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North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to defend House Bill 2, a law that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex, according to a court document.

The move is in response to a letter the Justice Department sent last week warning Gov. Pat McCrory that the law is in violation of the Civil Rights Act and giving him until Monday to “remedy the situation.”

The state’s lawsuit calls the Justice Department’s position a “radical reinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act” and “a baseless and blatant overreach.”

Before Monday’s action, McCrory repeatedly said his response to the Justice Department would resonate beyond the Tar Heel state — it will affect the majority of Americans.

“This is no longer just a North Carolina issue,” he said in a Fox News interview on Sunday. “This is a basic change of norms that we’ve used for decades throughout the United States of America and the Obama administration is now trying to change that norm — again not just in North Carolina, but they’re ordering this to every company in the United States of America — starting tomorrow I assume, or Tuesday.”

Federal funds

North Carolina could lose a lot of federal money for failing to comply with the Justice Department — potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for its universities alone.

The Justice Department also sent a letter to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors telling them that new law was in violation of federal law. They were given the same Monday deadline.

McCrory said Sunday that this action sets a precedent, with the federal government “now telling every university that accepts federal funding that boys who may think they’re a girl can go into a girl’s locker room or restroom or shower facility, and that begins I assume tomorrow.”

‘Bullies’

Beyond his support for the bill’s content, McCrory’s argument against the feds is twofold — that the state of North Carolina hasn’t been given enough time to respond and that the federal government is overstepping its authority.

“This unrealistic deadline by the federal government is quite amazing,” he said in his Fox News interview. “It’s the federal government being a bully.”

McCrory also points to the fact that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act uses the term “sex” when it comes to gender issues, and “Congress does not define sex” as something that can be chosen.

“The Justice Department is making law for the federal government as opposed to enforcing it,” McCrory said.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder disagrees, and said in a 2014 memorandum that transgender discrimination claims are covered under Title VII. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission also interprets Title VII as forbidding discrimination against transgender people

Lawsuits and petitions

House Bill 2 puts in place a statewide policy that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender identity. That power is reserved for the state under the new law.

Since its passage in March, it’s drawn a flurry of condemnation from civil liberties groups, LGBT advocates, Democrats and some business leaders.

The ACLU and two transgender men have filed suit against the government.

Musicians Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and the bands Pearl Jam and Boston have canceled concerts in the state — which has cost one major venue nearly $200,000 in ticket sales.

PayPal and Deutsche Bank have both canceled plans to expand into North Carolina

5 comments

  • KaitiLu

    If the Feds withhold funding (money paid to them from the taxpayers in the first place) The entire state should withhold paying Federal taxes. Federal government has gotten very bold under Obama and doing too much dictating. Have we become a dictatorship?? The entire nation should stop paying federal tax, channel the money to the state and regain the freedom we fought to get from England. No taxation without representation.

    • WritesOnParade

      This isn’t anything new. The federal government did the same thing when they raised the drinking age from 18 to 21. In order to get the states to follow suit they withheld highway funding until each state raised the drinking age which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 17, 1984

    • Opinion8d

      That’s how they grow their power and it needs to stop. It’s just a way to strong arm the States -hold the purse strings and then tell the State -‘you can do whatever you want….but if you do something we don’t agree with….then we’ll hold paying for x,y and z.’ It was wrong when they did it with the drinking age/limits/highway funds, and it’s wrong now. Unfortunately, the more money that goes there the worse the problem gets and the more power the people ‘representing’ us hold.

      • WritesOnParade

        At least less of my tax money will be going to aid the oppression of LGBT people in North Carolina.

      • Opinion8d

        @WritesOnParade – Ha, less of your money going to suppress LGBT people?? This is not an issue about the LGBT community. Think about it -if a trans person uses ‘their’ restroom today, does anyone notice?? The problem is that ‘free-form’ thinking has expanded such that people can claim what they want -and be protected in doing so. If a guy(penis) walk into a women’s shower, what recourse do women have?? Who are they to tell him he’s not a women?!?! How crazy is that?? Now if a transgender -fully trans, goes in the ladies room, does anyone notice?? This isn’t about the transgenders……it’s about common sense and biology. If there is no one who can say someone is a man or a women -only the person self-identifying, than it would be chaos. I’m a senior citizen-give me a discount; I’m a child, I can screw kids; I’m an Indian, I want my casino compensation; I’m a doctor; let me write my own Rx; I’m whatever……where would that stop?

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