It’s not every day that we’d hit different aspects of the same news story with a separate column instead of just an update, and even more rarely that I’d do this within a matter of hours, but this news seems to be worth the virtual ink. Earlier this morning we talked about North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the looming deadline he faced from the Justice Department. He was being told that he needed to “do something” about the recently passed Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act or face punishment from the federal government over alleged Title VII violations. Further, the governor was given a grand total of three working days to prepare his response and let them know just what he planned to do about it.
Several hours ahead of the deadline the Obama administration found out precisely what Governor McCrory planned to do. He filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and invited them to meet him in a court of law to discuss the matter. (CNN)
North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to defend House Bill 2, a law that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex, according to a court document.
The move is in response to a letter the Justice Department sent last week warning Gov. Pat McCrory that the law is in violation of the Civil Rights Act and giving him until Monday to “remedy the situation.”
The state’s lawsuit calls the Justice Department’s position a “radical reinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act” and “a baseless and blatant overreach.”
Welcome to the party, pals.
Loretta Lynch wanted an answer fast and now she has one. I’ll confess that when I wrote the earlier article on this subject I was concerned that McCrory might cave under the pressure from the SJW contingent and the threats of economic boycotts, but it looks like he’s going to stand his ground and do just what I’d hoped he would. The law is already on the books and scheduled to go into effect so timing is everything here. Given the contentious nature of the debate and the differing results which have been coming in across the country it shouldn’t be difficult for a court to at least impose an injunction which prevents the Justice Department from taking any punitive action against North Carolina until this drama plays out before one or more judges.
One early concern I have is that the suit could be distilled down to some dry interpretation of Title VII and whether or not the demands of the Justice Department fall within their power to interpret the statute in that fashion. That would be unfortunate because such a course would fail to address the larger questions as to whether or not a biological male can claim the “self-identity” of a female and impose that belief on everyone else at the expense of their own privacy in public facilities. But as they dig into the question, that doesn’t seem likely to me. How can the court address the question of enforcement of Title VII without addressing the memos from the DoJ which reinterpret it to include “self identity” as a definition of sex and legally accept some self-imposed gender role over basic biology and genetics?
Assuming this has to go up the chain (and it really needs to) the case would wind its way through the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. They’re not known for being the most liberal bench in the country and North Carolina could easily do well there if they build a solid case. The real problem would come at the Supreme Court, assuming it makes it that far, and it could easily be next year before it was heard, barring some sort of emergency request. (Assuming they can manage it that quickly.) A divided court such as we have now might split the decision and let the findings of the Fourth Circuit stand. But once we’re back to nine justices the question will reach a final resolution for better or worse. This should add even more urgency to the question of who will appoint the successor to Antonin Scalia and you already know how this story ends if it winds up being Hillary Clinton.