Attorney General Loretta Lynch – the first black woman to hold the job – has just elevated the profile of the Justice Department with the potentially epic clash with North Carolina over its new bathroom law.
In suing the state (where she was born and raised) for discriminating against transgender people, Lynch invoked the defining civil rights struggles of the last century and made clear that the federal government sees its dispute with North Carolina as about far more than bathrooms and showers.
At a news conference this week, she announced the lawsuit, and said directly addressed North Carolina residents
Instead of turning away from our neighbors, friends and colleagues, let us instead learn from our history and avoid repeating the mistakes of our past. Let us reflect on the obvious but neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good and never works in hindsight.”
Her remarks, in unusually forceful and personal language, came as North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory refused to back down over a law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.
The Justice Department says the measure violates civil rights laws and is seeking a court order to block it.