Federal Bureaucrats Unilaterally Reinterpreting 50 Years of Civil Rights Law
Mark Garrison of WBT Radio interviewed Rep. Dan Bishop, sponsor of HB2, regarding the remarkable threat issued this week by Obama’s Justice Department – a vast overreach of federal power that impacts virtually every employer in America, both government and private sector…
Mark Garrison, WBT Radio: Some big developments on North Carolina’s bathroom law, known as HB2, with Washington stepping in.
Justice Department sent a letter telling the Governor the law’s got to go, because it dictates which bathrooms transgenders have to use in schools and government buildings. The Feds say that violates federal law. The Justice Department has given the state a deadline to do something about it, but as it turns out, Republicans in the general assembly are in a fighting mood over this.
I chatted late today with Mecklenburg Republican Dan Bishop. He wrote House Bill 2, and basically he says, “Phooey on the Feds.”
State Representative Dan Bishop: The letter is focused on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
That’s a 50 year old law. What the Obama Administration is saying with this letter, is that by having a law to protect the bathroom privacy from the presence of people who have anatomically opposite sex being in there at the same time, constitutes sex discrimination in employment. Now, the folks in 1964 who passed that law sure didn’t know that!
It’s based on a new interpretation of the law in the Obama Administration bureaucracy, no change by Congress. They’re saying that HB2, that we passed to reestablish sex specific bathrooms, showers, in public buildings – that constitutes sex discrimination against North Carolina and local employees.
Garrison: I can tell by the tone of your voice, you sound pretty outraged by that letter.
Bishop: It’s sort of remarkable… There’s always another test by the Obama Administration just how much the American people will tolerate.
Garrison: You’re saying that their interpretation, that there shouldn’t be male and female bathrooms in public building.
Bishop: You certainly can’t prevent anybody, under their interpretation, who says, if they’re an anatomical male, and they say, “I’m a female,” you cannot preclude them from entering the opposite bathroom.
Radical Obama Reinterpretation of Title VII Impacts Most U.S. Employers
Garrison: What will this do now to general assembly? Will you guys ignore it, or try to repeal HB2?
Bishop: It’s too early to say, and not entirely up to me, but it is a breathtaking assertion of executive power by the Obama Administration. The question is, can they, based on a bureaucrat’s reinterpretation of settled law, that hasn’t been approved by any court; can they go around the nation and force this not only on state government, but on every private employer that has 15 or more employees. That’s the issue.
Garrison: They’ve given you a deadline to repeal, correct?
Bishop: They’ve given us the deadline. I saw a deadline of May 9th to respond to their letter, and the letter is addressed to the Governor and to the university system. Litigation happens every day. Calm typically needs to prevail in these situations, a lot of folks get nervous about it.
One of the things that the press has distorted is the notion that we could lose funding. This letter has nothing to do with losing funding. It is about Title VII, Title VII about education, there’s funding under that, but even in that situation, there are clear procedures involved. We can have it out with the Obama Administration, see if they manage to get their way all the way through the court system, then we still have a period of time after that to come into compliance with whatever radical new social policy is imposed from above, before there is ever a threat of deprivation of money.
That’s really not the issue. The issue is whether North Carolinians, and people all over the nation, are going to acquiesce to being steamrolled by radical new social policy dreamed up by the Obama Administration bureaucrats.
Garrison: Of course, if the general assembly decides to fight this in court, you’ll have to hire another lawyer, because Democrat Roy Cooper certainly won’t fight it.
Bishop: He’s AWOL. The attorney general has been absent without official leave, so I don’t know that we can count on him to take care of the people of North Carolina.
Garrison: What’s the reaction there in the legislature so far, among Republicans particularly?
Bishop: The assertion of groundbreaking executive authority by the Obama Administration is not particularly new. I would say folks are interested in developments, but maybe not shocked.
Attorney General Roy Cooper is AWOL in taking care of the people of North Carolina
Garrison: It doesn’t sound like there might be a fast effort in the short session to repeal it, based on what you’re saying.
Bishop: I think the law is a good law. It shouldn’t be repealed. I’m not looking to do that.