Citing 'conflicting statements' from Cooper, McCrory administration to defend HB2

Posted June 2

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper are running for governor in 2016.

— Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Thursday that his administration plans to handle the state's defense against a federal lawsuit over House Bill 2.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state last month, alleging that House Bill 2 violates the civil rights of transgender state workers and university students by requiring them to use public bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender.

The Governor's Office said in a news release that Attorney General Roy Cooper was flip-flopping on his position of refusing to defend the state law, so the McCrory administration would represent the state in the lawsuit to avoid "conflicting statements."

Cooper, a Democrat who is running against McCrory in the gubernatorial race, called House Bill 2 a "national embarrassment" shortly after it was passed in a one-day emergency legislative session in March, and he has repeatedly said his office wouldn't defend it.

The release from McCrory's office included links to federal court filings to indicate Cooper's "quiet reversal" on House Bill 2.

"The Attorney General reversed his position without consulting any of the defendants in the lawsuit, and he did not make any public announcement that he had entered the case to represent the State of North Carolina," the release states. "Both the Attorney General and his campaign made public statements as recently as (Wednesday) that undermine the state’s position and contradict the legal filings by his office."

Samantha Cole, a spokeswoman for Cooper's office, said that the filings for two special deputy attorneys general to make appearances on behalf of the state to request that the deadline to respond to the lawsuit be extended to July 18 are simply that – a request for more time – and not any indication that Cooper has changed his position on House Bill 2.

"The Attorney General’s Office has informed counsel for the Governor that this office gives him permission to represent the state," Cole said in an email to WRAL News.

Cooper campaign spokesman Ford Porter went further, calling the release from McCrory's office disingenuous.

"This is just more misinformation from Governor McCrory on the truth about HB2," Porter said in a statement. "Attorney General Cooper continues to stand against this discriminatory law that is driving jobs and people away from our state."

McCrory's campaign responded by calling on Cooper to resign because he refuses to defend a state law.

"Roy Cooper should resign immediately not only for gross incompetence, but also the serious professional and ethical conflicts of interests he has brought upon himself by siding with the Obama administration instead of defending North Carolina," McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement.


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  • Carol Smith Jun 3, 10:41 a.m.
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    So, cooper should resign for not being a bigot. mccrory can't stand up to anyone; cooper can.

  • Carol Smith Jun 3, 10:38 a.m.
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    ttransgenders are not always born with definite anatomical parts. read up.

  • Doug Bogard Jun 2, 11:45 p.m.
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    Lance, Alex, I am not against the LGBT community.
    I do understand anatomy and gender.
    I also have common sense.
    Redefining the word gender, does not change the fact that we are either male or female.
    We do not get to pick based on how we feel.
    Our personal anatomy is all the directions we need, to know where to go to the restroom.
    Protecting our sons and daughters is more important to me, than transgenders bathroom rights. Everyone has a right to privacy. I am more for the uni sex restroom, single serve, any gender, with a lock on the door. Why use common sense? Because everyone has a right to privacy. Transgenders, you, me, our sons and daughters.

  • Betsy Sparks Jun 2, 11:42 p.m.
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    The district court in Virginia made a ruling that a transgender teen may use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity. Since NC is part of the same district, NC is bound by that ruling. The federal court of appeals refused to re-hear the case, meaning that the ruling stands.

    McCrory said that "a court, rather than a federal agency, should tell our state, our nation and employers across the country what law requires". Well, the district court had done so, but McCrory doesn't want to accept the decision. Roy Cooper is obeying what the courts say the law requires, not McCrory.

  • Doug Bogard Jun 2, 11:11 p.m.
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    She did not want to do what she was hired to do.
    Therefore she should be replaced.

  • Xander Bogaerts Jun 2, 8:54 p.m.
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    11 states sued the feds same day, same time as orchestrated. I'm concerned they're kowtowing to the same, special interest group of fanatics.

    and Cooper's "troubles" as presented is simply misinformation:

    Now that's just a routin' tootin' marcaholic thing to say! misinformation, fear tactics, misrepresentation- and why? what for? what can you possibly gain by it? WWJD?

  • Alex Wilson Jun 2, 4:38 p.m.
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    So show me one post that you made in support of Kim Davis being removed from public office, she was on the state payroll and refused to do all of her job.

  • Alex Wilson Jun 2, 4:37 p.m.
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    She quit, because she had her own agenda, which was not on the path of others. You are reaching for Toilet Paper once again.

  • Demute Sainte Jun 2, 4:17 p.m.
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    Here is a good read:

    When the head of the ultra-liberal Americans Civil Liberties Union in Georgia quits because of her unwillingness to fight laws like HB2 and the Obama administrations "bathroom" mandate... the bathroom issue has to be a pretty serious problem for even liberals to swallow!

    We need Cooper to quit.

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 2, 2:13 p.m.
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    So, what was your stance on Kim Davis? Did you support her not doing her job, or was that okay because it aligned with your beliefs?

    HB2, just like Amendment One, is not Constitutional and will be repelled. All the NCGA and McCrory are doing is pandering to the far right and wasting tax payer money. Cooper is right in his decision to not defend a law that clearly violates the US Constitution.

    I thought the GOP touted itself as the party of fiscal responsibility. How is it fiscally responsible to continue passing un-constitutional laws and expect the tax payers of NC to pay for it?