U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is set to speak on the lawsuit Pat McCrory filed against her and the DOJ earlier today. Those following along live can watch below.
3:39 – Press conference hasn’t started yet but Phil Berger and Tim Moore have filed their own lawsuit against Lynch and the Justice Department.
3:43 – Still hasn’t started, but Lynch is expected to announce a “law enforcement action.”
3:50 – Still no Lynch, but:
3:52 – Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich says that the DOJ’s lawsuit seeks to block enforcement of HB 2.
3:57 – Still no Lynch. Here’s Berger and Moore’s lawsuit against the DOJ.
4:00 – We just got a one minute warning. A bit of light reading from the NCGA lawsuit:
“When people find themselves in the intimate settings of public bathrooms, locker rooms, or showers, they expect to encounter only other people of the same biological sex. … Yet when North Carolina sought to protect that expectation in law … a torrent of criticism was unleashed against the State, its officials, and its citizens. The abuse has now reached its apex with the unprecedented threats by the United States Department of Justice.” Lol.
4:02 – Lynch and Vanita Gupta, acting asst. AG for Civil Rights, are here. Lynch announces “significant law enforcement action.”
4:03 – “[McCrory and the General Assembly] created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals,” Lynch says.
4:04 – “Today, we are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit.” Lynch says that they’re trying to get HB 2 declared “impermissibly discriminatory,” which would block HB 2 from being implemented.”
4:05 – “This is not the first time we’ve seen discriminatory responses to historic progress in our nation.” Lynch compares it to the end of Jim Crow laws, Brown v. Board of Education, and opposition to gay marriage.
4:06 – “What we must never do is turn on our neighbors, family members, and our fellow Americans for something they cannot control and what makes them human,” says Lynch.
4:07 – Lynch, who is from North Carolina, speaking directly to NC residents. “This law provides no benefit to society, and all it does is harm innocent Americans…discrimination never works, and never looks good in hindsight.”
4:08 – Lynch speaking to transgender community: “Know this: the Department of Justice and the entire Obama administration want you to know, we see you, we stand with you, and will do everything we can to protect you going forward.” Turns it over to Gupta.
4:09 – Gupta praises Lynch’s words and her team at the Civil Rights division.
4:10 – “Calling HB 2 a bathroom bill trivializes what this bill is really about,” Gupta says.
4:13 – DOJ claim is under three statutes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act.
4:14 – Lynch taking questions. Question about if DOJ is intervening in other places or in cities without a statute like Charlotte’s. Lynch says that they’re “monitoring and reviewing other situations,” and that they’re open to discussion with any state or locality considering a bill similar to HB 2 that’s wondering if they’ll be found in compliance with the law by the DOJ.
4:16 – Lynch mentions to ability to curtail federal funding for NC, but they aren’t going to go after it now or give a deadline. “We remain open to discussions with the state, we know the University system has reached out to us.”
4:17 – Question about McCrory’s whining that NC is being “bullied”: “I think the people who feel bullied are probably the transgender people of North Carolina,” Lynch says. “So I would shift the issue of bullying to considerations along that front.”
4:18 – Question about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Andrew Breitbart lives.
4:20 – Question about El Chapo, who, like Pat McCrory, has violated federal law.
4:21 – Back to HB 2. “You cannot single out any one particular group to be treated differently,” Lynch says.
4:22 – Lynch says they filed a notice of appeal on the NC voting rights lawsuit on Friday. On McCrory’s action, Lynch has no comment, but says they had conversations with the state’s leadership on “ameliorating” HB 2.
4:34 – We lost the livestream, but you get the idea: this is going to be a long fight.
And here is the DOJ’s complaint against North Carolina.