Friday, May 06, 2016

No! Nyet!

Siers cartoon The Charlotte Observer
Maybe the governor thinks this is a fight that he can win or maybe he sees it as a good political move but it is a fight he can’t win.
The obvious choice N.C. now faces on HB 2
The Department of Justice told N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday that the anti-LGBT law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act
The letter changes the HB 2 landscape, and it offers Republicans an escape

The Charlotte Observer
The Observer Editorial Board
May 6, 2016

The time for cable TV appearances and morning radio rants should be over now. The debate over bathrooms and predators, misguided as it was, is moot.

On Wednesday, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice informing him that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX. If the state does not significantly change or repeal HB 2, it could face the loss of billions of dollars in federal money.

The letter, signed by top DOJ civil rights lawyer Vanita Gupta, provides McCrory and the N.C. legislature a suddenly clear choice on HB 2: They can invite significant new penalties for our state, or they can continue to pretend that HB 2 is an issue to debate and a political fight to wage.

It’s not. As the DOJ letter spelled out, HB 2 is breaking the law.

This is not some far-left interpretation of sexuality and civil rights statutes. As Gupta detailed, it’s the determination of administrative agencies and federal courts, including the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled just last month that transgender individuals must be treated consistent with their gender identity.
The conservatives want to make this out as something that is a political whim on the part of the President but in fact it is based sound legal opinions.
It was a response that didn’t acknowledge how the HB 2 landscape has now changed. It’s no longer about the “dialogue” that McCrory suddenly wants to have on bathrooms. It’s not about the political left smearing North Carolina, as he’s claimed on cable and radio. It’s about the law.
The time governor to have a “dialogue” we when the bill was being discussed in the legislature but instead the Republican controlled legislature rammed the bill through in a one day special session that no one had time to prepare for and the bill had no hearing. The bill was filed on the same day that the governor signed it into law.

Governor, that was the time you should all have stopped and had a “dialogue” but instead your party was hell-bent to punish Charlotte for passing the ordinance.


  1. Was it necessary for the Feds to step into this mess. The North Carolina Attorney General already decided that there would be no enforcement of the bill. If the terms of the bill are never enforced then would there ever be anyone with standing to challenge the bill? Just asking?

  2. If it was that simple then I wouldn't write about it but the Attorney General doesn't make arrests he only tries the cases.
    There has been some reports of people being harassed in restrooms and there are a number of school systems that are denying trans students the use of bathrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity.
    The law also puts businesses between a rock and a hard place. If they obey federal law they run the risk of being sued under state law and vice versa if they follow state law the EEOC can fine them.