McCrory To Assess How Ruling On Va. School Bathroom Policy Impacts NC Law

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April 19, 2016 3:15 p.m.
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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Tuesday scrambled to respond to a federal appeals court ruling that found a Virginia school’s policy prohibiting a transgender student from using the boy’s restroom is discriminatory.

“As governor, I will uphold my oath of office to respect these court rulings, and make sure these court rulings are abided to because I’m sworn to oath to do just that, and I have a tradition of doing just that,” McCrory told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is my understanding that this ruling will most likely be immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he continued, adding that he will get an evaluation from his lawyers in the meantime on how the ruling affects North Carolina law. “I mean, this is a major, major change in social norms.”

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the Virginia school’s policy is discriminatory, reversing a lower court ruling that had denied the student a preliminary injunction. The three-judge panel sent the case back to the lower court to be reheard.

The 4th Circuit includes North Carolina, so the Tuesday ruling could help determine the outcome of a lawsuit challenging a new law in that state that directs people to use the public bathroom that corresponds with their birth sex.

McCrory filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting the Virginia school’s bathroom policy, according to the News and Observer newspaper.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit challenging the North Carolina law. The groups issued a statement on Tuesday arguing that the Virginia ruling shows the North Carolina measure violates Title IX.

“Today’s ruling makes plain that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 violates Title IX by discriminating against transgender students and forcing them to use the wrong restroom at school,” the statement reads. “This mean-spirited law not only encourages discrimination and endangers transgender students – it puts at risk billions of dollars in federal funds that North Carolina receives for secondary and post-secondary schools.”

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