NC GOP Gov. Pat McCrory isn't waiting around for the Justice Department to make good on its implied threat (deadline today) to withhold Title IX federal funding over civil rights violations in the state's HB2 "Bathroom Bill". Rather, it seems the state's Republicans are going to sue the Obama administration for the right to discriminate against transgender people instead.
Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina on Monday escalated the nation’s clash about transgender rights and sued the Justice Department, which said last week that the state had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it passed a law that prohibited people from using public restrooms that do not correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificates.
In the suit, the governor accused the Justice Department of a “radical reinterpretation” of the law.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a message.
McCrory is betting that he can run out the clock on the Justice Department taking any actions while the suit is pending, and clearly he's hoping for both a a friendlier administration in 2017 who will drop the case completely, and a banner issue for NC Republicans to rally around for his re-election campaign in November. By saying that the law "needs to be resolved at a federal level" and that he's "taking the initiative to protect federal funding" for the state, he's framing the left as the bullies here, rather than "suing for the right to tell trans folks where to pee."
It's not an entirely stupid move, that is if you're going to stick with the entirely stupid move of HB2.
We'll see how far he gets, but he's clearly fishing for an injunction preventing any DoJ action pending a Supreme Court ruling, and that could take years.
As a countermove, the Justice Department sued NC right back.
The Department of Justice sued North Carolina on Monday, saying the state’s recently-passed “bathroom law” violates federal civil rights laws.
The move comes hours after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory sued the Department of Justice over its interpretation of the law.
Last week, the Department of Justice sent a letter to McCrory saying the controversial law — which bans transgender people access to restrooms that match their gender identity in government buildings and schools — violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“The state is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees,” U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote in the letter to McCrory.
Gupta gave McCrory until Monday, May 9, to respond with a solution to “remedy the situation.”
So now the battle begins.