If you’ve been following the saga, you know Obama’s Department of Justice last week threatened the state of North Carolina with loss of millions of dollars of federal funding if it enforced its so-called bathroom law that has become a lightning rod across the nation. The DOJ gave Governor Pat McCrory until close of business today to respond — or else.
As we reported this morning, the governor made good on the DOJ’s deadline, although probably not with the response Attorney General Loretta Lynch was looking for. Far from acquiescing to the DOJ’s demands to confirm it would not enforce the H.B.2 law, Gov. McCrory turned around and filed a lawsuit agains the DOJ. Among other things, the governor accuses Obama’s Department of Justice of a “radical reinterpretation of Civil Rights act of 1964” and “baseless and blatant overreach.” He argued that a court — not a government agency — should clarify federal law.
Now, Obama’s Department of Justice is attempting to show the states who’s boss. You guessed it… Loretta Lynch thinks she is.
Via Washington Post:
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Monday against North Carolina authorities, hours after the state filed a lawsuit challenging the agency’s attempt to convince authorities not to enforce the so-called “bathroom bill.”
These dueling lawsuits marked a sharp escalation in the fight between the two sides over a law specifying who can use which bathrooms in North Carolina, a measure that has thrust the state into the epicenter of the debate over transgender rights. Both complaints came five days after Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, had sent a letter to North Carolina Gov. McCrory (R) calling on him to say that he would abandon the law, which bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates.
McCrory filed a lawsuit Monday morning against the Department of Justice, asking a federal court to rule that its so-called “bathroom law” is not discriminatory. In his complaint, McCrory (R) accused the federal government of “baseless and blatant overreach,” and he said he was filing the lawsuit to help stave off uncertainty sparked by the debate and to ensure that North Carolina does not lose out on federal funding until the issue is resolved in court.
“We believe a court rather than a federal agency should tell our state, our nation and employers across the country what the law requires,” McCrory said during a news conference Monday afternoon. He added: “Right now, the Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set basic restroom policies….for public and private employers across the country.”
In its own filing Monday, the Justice Department followed through on what Gupta had hinted in her letter last week. Gupta had said that the Justice Department believed North Carolina was violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees.” The letter went on to say that if Lynch had a reason to believe a state was doing this, she could head to court to remedy the issue.
Lynch went so far as to compare the North Carolina bill to Jim Crow laws — effectively comparing an individual’s choice to change genders to being born a particular race.
“We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation,” Lynch said. “We saw it in the fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education.”
Today’s actions both lead to the same place — the courtroom, where a court will be left to decide what, exactly, is protected under Title VII and Title IX. As well as, perhaps, the federal government’s purview in dictating state law.
Don’t we all wish Obama’s Department of Justice had the same fervor in going after sanctuary cities and states, who openly refuse to comply with federal immigration officials and harbor illegal immigrants — who, in turn, have killed American citizens, such as Kate Steinle?
Or how about a member of the executive branch who knowingly and willfully endangered national security info?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]