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May 2016 Archives

Mere hours after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory doubled down on the state's discriminatory bathroom access law, the U.S Department of Justice fired back, filing its own lawsuit to enjoin the state from enforcing the law.

The DOJ's Civil Rights Division had already warned McCrory that it saw the law, which prohibits people from using bathrooms with gender designations other than those on their birth certificates, as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and would sue to enjoin its enforcement. Now the two sides will battle it out in federal court, and it's pretty clear which side will win.

North Carolina's transgender bathroom law -- the one barring people from using bathrooms with gender designations different from those on their birth certificates -- is patently discriminatory. About a week after it passed, the state's own attorney general said he wouldn't defend the law in court, and last week the U.S. Department of Justice warned the governor that the law violates the Civil Rights Act.

But Governor Pat McCrory and Frank Perry, head of North Carolina's Department of Public Safety (DPS), doubled down on the law, and filed a lawsuit against the DOJ, accusing the federal government of "baseless and blatant overreach." (One wonders whether the irony of that charge was lost on the governor or simply ignored.) Hours later, the DOJ filed its own lawsuit, saying the state and DPS "are discriminating against transgender individuals in violation of federal law." The only question now is how long it will take a court to side in the DOJ's favor.