North Carolina's senior senator said his state's Gov. Pat McCrory is "off base" in calling for congressional intervention to resolve a state dispute over restroom access for transgender people .
“I've never seen Congress get involved in judicial matters and this is turned over to the court system now,” Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr said Tuesday. “So, I think the governor's off base.”
The North Carolina law, House Bill 2, forbids transgender individuals from entering a bathroom that does not correspond to their gender identity at birth.
After the Justice Department notified North Carolina last week that its new state statute could violate the federal Civil Rights Act, McCrory filed a lawsuit Monday , asking the federal courts to intervene. The Justice Department counter-sued later in the day.
[ Related: What NC's Pat McCrory is Ignoring While He Focuses on Bathrooms ] McCrory also suggested that Congress should revisit federal anti-discrimination provisions, arguing that transgender people are not afforded such protections.
But Burr said he would rather see the issue remain in the courts.
“That's where they chose to put it,” he said. “I would have preferred that they had come up with an agreement that everybody is happy with.”
Democrats have attacked Burr for not taking a stand against the bill. He's is seeking re-election to a third Senate term in November in a race the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call has rated as leans Republican. Todd Ruger contributed to this report. Contact Lesniewski at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.