North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice in a bid to preserve the state’s controversial “bathroom” law. The lawsuit arrives less than a week after the Obama administration said the policy violates the civil rights of transgender people.
McCrory filed the lawsuit after Obama told the state’s officials they had until Monday to respond to its demand that North Carolina either scrap the law or face legal action and risk losing federal funds.
McCrory refused, and instead filed suit.
“The Department’s position is a baseless and blatant overreach,” the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina, says. “This is an attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the Courts.”
Under North Carolina state law transgender people must use the bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate. McCrory says the North Carolina law applies only to government offices, universities and road-side rest stops, and not every bathroom in the state.
During an interview with “Fox News Sunday” the Governor said he asked the department for an extension.
“I don’t think that three working days is enough time for such a pretty big threat,” he told Fox News. “It’s the federal government being a bully, making law.”
McCrory also noted that he doesn’t have the legal authority to change laws and that the expectation that he can is “unrealistic.”
According to Politico, the Justice Department is seeking a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at federal funded education programs and activities.