North Carolina Governor, Justice Department Suing Each Other Over Anti-Trans Law

By Sameer Rao May 09, 2016

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory announced today (May 9) that he is taking legal action against federal officials. The news came mere hours before the U.S. Department of Justice filed its own suit challenging a controversial state bill that prevents transgender people from using bathrooms and changing rooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificate. 

"We’re taking the Obama admin to court," McCrory tweeted in reference to state officials’ lawsuit against the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "They’re bypassing Congress, attempting to rewrite law and policies for the whole country, not just NC." In the actual complaint, accuses the federal government of "baseless and blatant overreach."

Local advocates already filed a suit against McCrory in federal court back in March. As we reported then, North Carolina legislators passed HB 2 specifically to override a Charlotte city ordinance that would have permitted transgender people to use public bathrooms aligned with their gender identity. North Carolina was the first state to enact such legislation.

The Justice Department’s own complaint states that HB 2 operates in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as it "requires public agencies to follow a facially discriminatory policy of treating transgender individuals, whose gender identity may not match their birth certificates, differently from similarly situated non-transgender individuals."

According to The Washington Post, both lawsuits come five days after the Justice Department’s Vanita Gupta—who is named in the North Carolina officials’ lawsuit—sent McCrory a letter demanding that he rescind the law.

(H/t Reuters)