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HomeNewsPoliticsNC Gov. Pat McCrory Files Lawsuit Against Justice Department Over Transgender Bathroom Law

NC Gov. Pat McCrory Files Lawsuit Against Justice Department Over Transgender Bathroom Law

Pat-McCrory-Fox News Sunday
Pat-McCrory-Fox News Sunday

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory appears on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on May 8, 2016. (Photo: Fox News Sunday)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department over its challenge to the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law. Gov. The lawsuit is a declaratory judgment action asking the federal courts to clarify federal law and it comes in response to an ultimatum sent by the Obama administration.

“The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level,” Gov. McCrory said in a statement. “They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women’s locker room, restroom or shower facility.”

The state law requires transgender people to use bathrooms that match the sex printed on their birth certificate and it applies only to government offices, universities and road-side rest stops, not every bathroom in the state. However, the Justice Department sent a letter on Wednesday May 4 claiming the law violates the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. To be clear, the Civil Rights Act was intended to protect racial minorities against discrimination in education and the workplace. There are separate laws targeted toward gender, but they are meant to protect women, not men who say they are women and visa versa.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not address gender or sexuality,” said Judge Andrew Napolitano, a columnist at PPD and Fox News’ senior legal analyst. “This is a typical clash of a 50-year-old statute that was written in a time when transgender wasn’t even an issue.”

The lawsuit argues the government is basing their opposition to the law on a “radical interpretation” of the Civil Rights Act. Gov. McCrory and the legislature faced the choice of either tossing the state’s law or face legal action from the federal government and the loss of federal funds. When he requested an extension, the Obama administration granted him only until the end of business day Monday.

“I don’t think that three working days is enough time for such a pretty big threat,” he said on an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “It’s the federal government being a bully, making law.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration will push the issue of transgendered bathrooms even further. They will seek to ensure transgender students are protected under federal law. A source in the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the push will cite a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and other related activities. The source said the president will deploy multiple agencies in a multi-pronged approach.

Gov. McCrory, a Republican targeted by Democrats and facing a tough reelection, said he on Sunday he was exploring “all legal options” before the deadline. He warned the issue has widespread implications that will reverberate far beyond the borders of North Carolina.

“I’m taking this initiative to ensure that North Carolina continues to receive federal funding until the courts resolve this issue,” said Gov. McCrory.

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