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"Far-out progressives": Here is the lawsuit filed by the Justice Dept. vs. North Carolina

Gov. Pat McCrory called the U.S. Justice Department's bluff, and the feds were not amused.

McCrory missed today's deadline to respond to the department's mandate that North Carolina announce whether it intended to keep House Bill 2, and thus risk losing millions of dollars in federal funding for violating Title IX and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Instead, he sued the feds. And now the feds have sued North Carolina: McCrory, the Department of Public Safety, and UNC, including its board of governors.

Download NC-DOJComplaint

The complaint asks the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent further violations of the law.

"Defendants' compliance with and implementation of HB 2 stigmatizes and singles out transgender employees, results in their isolation and exclusion, and perpetuates a sense that they are not worthy of equal treatment and respect," the court filing reads.

UNC is also a defendant because Margaret Spellings, the system president, issued a memorandum to all chancellors directing them to comply with HB2. Under the law, in public facilities (not private businesses) people must use the bathroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate. However, the law established no criminal penalties for violating it.

The full court document quotes State Rep. Dan Bishop, who introduced HB2, as saying that "a small group of far-out progressives should not presume to decide for us all that a cross-dresser's liberty to express his gender nonconformity trumps the right of women and girls to peace of mind."

Comments

Dick Ford

Who would call the dispute between privacy and trangender access a matter of amusement to the DOJ? Somehow I don't think the writer appreciates what is at stake here.

The left calling this is a "bathroom" law is another way to denigrate the privacy rights of citizens.

Kevin, I always counted on BCR to help me understand issues. I can read the Indy if I just want the left's pejoratives.

plurimus

*sigh*

I just do not think the Governor appreciates how stupid this law really is. 1) it does nothing above an beyond laws already in place to discourage abuse or guarantee"piece of mind" 2) it works completely opposite to the stated goal of the republican platforms, namely less government and local control, exactly who is going to enforce this? and 3) it is not "far-out" to see this is causing economic pain to a state that has had enough of that already.

What exactly IS at stake here? How many people think that transgender use of bathrooms was not already going on? How would you know? Exactly how many complaints have been reported? Where is the fault in local governance here? Have they never been to France?

......or is this all in the name of agitating a dwindling base about Roy Cooper's challenge and a desperate attempt to divert "purple state" attention away from the disarray the RNC is in in?

As with amendment one, the NCLeg find themselves again on the wrong side of history and a national conversation, standing up for hateful and unnecessary exclusionary principals rooted in fear. Folks, most of these people contribute as much (many times more) to society as you do, with little to no adverse effects. If they are not bothering anyone don't they deserve the respect of their own identity?

Shame.

Cthulu '16

Who would call the dispute between religious-based intolerance and civil rights a matter of amusement to the DOJ General Assembly? Somehow I don't think Republicans appreciate what is at stake here.

The right calling this is a "privacy/safety" law is another way to denigrate the character and rights of citizens who have done no to harm and pose no more danger than anyone else.

I *can always* count on BCR to help me understand issues. I can read the ill-informed rightwing blog-o-sphere if I just want the right’s strawmen and religiously-motivated paranoia.

There. That’s better.

Susan Pochapsky

Grateful to Rep Dan Bishop for clarifying his position.

Or maybe he didn't. Does he know the difference between transgender persons and persons who are cross-dressing?

But at least he's clear that the bill wasn't about safety. It's about "peace of mind"--by which I expect he means the discomfort many people feel when they begin to encounter people who aren't exactly like themselves.

Now tell us whose peace of mind you were protecting, Rep. Bishop, when you stuck in the ceiling on the minimum wage? Art Pope's? Walmart's?

Asterion

The left calling this is a "bathroom" law is another way to denigrate the privacy rights of citizens.

What privacy right was infringed before we had HB2 supposedly restoring them?

Meanwhile the law clearly infringes local government right of self-government, and not just on bathrooms but on wages, it infringes on the right to sue when discriminated because of your sexual orientation and it infringes on the privacy on individuals using restrooms having to declare publicly under penalty their sex at birth if questioned when using them

Dave

Does any reader on this blog understand the nuances of being in a Dillon Rule state?

Charlotte did not have the right to make this law, and HB2 clarified that. HB2 also added multiple idiotic riders, fanning flames unnecessarily. And the Civitas-crowd pitched it as a safety issue - which is complete bullshit - as opposed to a Dillon Rule issue, which it actually is. Had they done the latter, which is just good management to many non-partisan folk, they may have had a case.

The argument against local rule is that activist councils could pass any law: Tomorrow $25 minimum wage for Cary, the next day you can't discriminate vs. Carolina fans in Durham, the next day you can't discriminate against fat people. All of these laws would be ridiculous. The point is, our state is NOT set up this way. In North Carolina, City Councils cannot pass laws protecting narrow classes of people.

The rational thing is simple: BOTH NC LEG AND CHARLOTTE REPEAL THEIR LAWS. Everything worked fine Feb 1. But that would require both partisan sides to recognize their wrong doing. Good luck with that.

STD

Yes, some of us to understand the Dillon Rule.

However, the Dillon Rule doesn't allow you to be discriminatory. Yes, you can say that NC local governments only have the powers granted to them by the General Assembly. What you can't say is that the state gets to use that power to pass laws that discriminate against a federally protected class of people.

The DOJ advances three theories of the case - violations of Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act and violations of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA violation is a slam dunk - state agencies voluntarily entered into contracts with the federal government to accept grants from VAWA. And VAWA explicity includes gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes. Title VII and IX are less clear but there is now a fair amount of legal precedents - both in federal case law and administrative rulings - that gender identity and sexual orientation are included under the protected class of sex.

To just boil it down to the Dillon Rule is an incomplete and frankly, amateur, legal conclusion.

Asterion

Charlotte did not have the right to make this law,
Then why didn't Governor McCrory and the Gen. Assembly took the city ordinance to court as he is being taken?

The same people that cry for states rights use the jackboot to suppress self-government of urban centers because they pass regulations they dislike. If Cary wants to set a $25 minimum wage or "protect fat people" from being discriminated and their elected officials vote for it why do you care if you dont live in Cary? And if you live in Cary vote/campaign or run yourself against those officials. The party of personal freedom is like the worse HOA in the world

plurimus

North Carolina is neither a Dillons rule or a Home rule state......http://canons.sog.unc.edu/is-north-carolina-a-dillons-rule-state/

Andrew

Dave - "Everything worked fine Feb 1" - Depends on which bathroom you were using, I guess. Or if you value protecting people from discrimination.

Dave

Andrew, the absence of protections for specific groups of people does NOT equate with discrimination. This logic is complete nonsense.

Our society does not explicitly protect MOST narrow classes of people: Muslims, Single Parents, Part-Time Students, Part-Time Workers, Mexicans, The Unskilled, The Indebted, Independent Contractors, Owners of Gas Guzzling Cars, Illegal Migrants and on and on, ad infinitum.

Each of these classes are a larger class than Transgenders (or even the larger LBTQ). And each is regularly discriminated against. Perhaps you desire a new hyper-specific law to protect each hyper-specific group from discrimination?

Unless you support class protections for each of these classes, doesn't that mean YOU support discrimination, by YOUR own definition?

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