Use the Bathroom, Break the Law

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The federal government says the state of North Carolina is violating the civil rights of transgender people. A new law requires them to use only those public bathrooms designated for the sex on their birth certificates, not the sex that defines their sense of identity. Attorney General Loretta Lynch compares it to the Jim Crow laws used to discriminate against black Americans after the Civil War.

Billions in federal education money could be withheld, and Governor Pat McCrory says Washington's being a "bully." Even before its clear how the law might be enforced, legal actions could lead to decisions with national impact.