Color Me Astounded! NC’s Hate Bill 2 (HB2)

Surprise developments in the case of the law made from Hate Bill 2 (HB2). Three of NC’s ‘leaders’ have decided to take on the DOJ, Department of Justice. What were they thinking to take on the DOJ? 

Watch NC Governor Pat McCrory trying to explain why NC plans to sue over Hate Bill 2, which blatantly discriminates. This Fox News interview with Chris Wallace was Sunday, May 8, 2016 –  “Gov. McCrory asks court to clarify federal law in HB2 showdown (video).” Fascinating how McCrory feels the DOJ is overreaching since HB 2 is yet another glaring example of the NC Legislature’s overreach!

On Monday, May 9, 2016, Governor McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Phil Berger all sued the DOJ. The DOJ is not amused!! U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has already responded! 

Atty General Loretta Lynch vs. Govr Pat McCrory
Atty General Loretta Lynch vs. Govr Pat McCrory. Photo Credit: WXIII2 News

          Photo Credit: WXII2

See “McCrory, lawmakers sue Justice over HB2; feds counter with lawsuit.” The News and Observer article says, 

“Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders responded to federal authorities’ Monday [5/9/16] deadline to denounce House Bill 2 by filing a lawsuit against them, which promoted the U.S. Justice Department to counter with its own lawsuit.”

“McCrory’s suit asks a judge to declare that HB2 is not discriminatory, while the Justice Department is seeking an injunction to suspend the law and a determination by the court that it is illegal.”

“U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Vanita Gupta, head of the department’s civil rights division, on Monday afternoon announced at a news conference in Washington, D.C. that in response they had filed suit in the middle district of federal court seeking an injunction against enforcing HB2 and asking for a court determination that the law is discriminatory.”

“Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a separate lawsuit against the Justice Department in the eastern district of federal court.”

“The U.S. Department of Justice said in a Wednesday letter that HB2 violates transgender employees’ conditions of employment.”

The Washington Post summarizes, and mentions the original letter from the DOJ in”North Carolina, Justice Dept. file dueling lawsuits over ‘bathroom bill,’” 5/9/16.  “These dueling lawsuits marked a sharp escalation in the fight between the two sides over a law specifying who can use which bathrooms in North Carolina, a measure that has thrust the state into the epicenter of the debate over transgender rights. Both complaints came five days after Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, had sent a letter to North Carolina Gov. McCrory (R) calling on him to say that he would abandon the law, which bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates.”

I watched the live news feed of the DOJ press conference mentioned above, thanks to Indy Week’s link.  It included Lynch and Gupta (who sent the letter to NC).  I loved Lynch’s response to McCrory calling the DOJ ‘a bully’ by explaining how McCrory and the NCGA are bullying the real victims – Trans people.

As the Washington Post article stated, “Lynch compared the bathroom law to earlier measures that mandated different bathrooms and water fountains for black and white people. Aiming her remarks directly at residents of North Carolina, her home state, she said: “This law provides no benefits to society and all it does is harm innocent Americans.””

Read Lynch’s whole speech, and watch her give it, at “Bathroom Bill NC – Justice Department Loretta Lynch Remarks.”

Not to mention all of the other terrible things HB 2 does. It goes far beyond policing bathrooms. Read how HB 2 is Disastrous for Women in an NC NOW Press Release, 4/7/16.

More national embarrassment to pile on to NC.  Even before these guys decided to sue the DOJ, people were talking about the national embarrassment HB 2 has caused.  Cities have lost millions in revenue due to cancelled conferences, tv show production, and entertainment (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato/Nick Jonas, Boston, etc).By early April (4/8/16), “13 groups drop plans for Charlotte events, more could come over HB2.” Executives from a few hundred major companies joined in a call for the repeal of HB 2.  Clearly, “HB2 is taking a toll on NC’s national image,” 5/7/16.  

Why can’t McCrory, Berger and Moore get their egos and prejudice out of the way? How could NC not lose these lawsuits? And how much more money will it take to try – money that could be spent on our public schools, our people, safety net programs, the unemployed?

Maybe it is worth it to them because they are getting so much bad legislation through (lost ability to sue on discrimination in NC, lost ability to make local ordinances over variety of issues).  But the cost is extreme – in terms of people hurt, lost money, expensive lawsuits, and injustices that it is too hard or expensive to pursue. Can Governor McCrory, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore be forced to pay back these huge taxpayer bills over terrible, discriminatory, and hurtful legislation?

Unfortunately NC’s residents and NC’s reputation are the sure losers in this battle.

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