A political showdown between North Carolina and the federal government loomed Thursday as Republican state leaders vowed to defy the U.S. Justice Department’s deadline to repeal the state’s contentious new bathroom law.

The Justice Department notified Gov. Pat McCrory in a letter Wednesday that the state’s House Bill 2, which restricts transgender bathroom access and has become a focus in the LGBT rights fight, violates sections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It gave the state until Monday to “remedy” the violations.

Continue reading:  North Carolina says it will defy Justice Department over LGBT law: ‘We’re not going to get bullied’


7 thoughts on “North Carolina says it will defy Justice Department deadline over anti-LGBT ‘bathroom’ law

    • From the article:

      If the state refuses to repeal or amend the legislation, the Justice Department has several options, legal experts say. The civil rights division can apply for a federal court order to require compliance, putting the case in the hands of a federal judge. It could also start initiating action to limit the distribution of federal funds. Last year, the Department of Education gave North Carolina $4.3 billion for public kindergartens, schools and colleges.

      “This sets up a battle between the state and the federal government,” said Jane R. Wettach, a professor of law at Duke University, a private university in Durham, N.C. “Our state officials are saying that this is federal government overreach, but the federal government has the power, certainly over federal funds.”

      There is no recent precedent for the federal government threatening to withdraw public education funds over a state law, although federal agencies have threatened to exert sanctions on some school districts to change their transgender restroom policies.


    • They did. However, the basis of their lawsuit rests on shaky legal grounds. The North Carolina suit is attempting to preempt any future withholding of federal funds which might never occur. The American judicial system is based on legal recourse to incurred damages, not potential damages. In contrast, the DOJ case against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT ‘bathroom’ law rests firmly on that state’s clear violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

      What North Carolina Republicans are really doing here – IMO – is playing a game of ‘chicken.’ By filing this lawsuit, they are hoping to prolong the legal process, drum-up public support for their cause, and ultimately force the DOJ to back down.


      • I thought all legal recourse is based on actual damage, not potential damage. Going to court on what one may incur is a case that should not even start.


        • Generally, that’s correct. “Standing” (i.e. the right to sue) is typically granted to plaintiffs based on the merits of the case; however, courts give greater leeway to large organizations and institutions such as corporations and state governments.


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