>> Today, we are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina.>> North Carolina's bathroom law unleashing a frenzy of lawsuits on Monday. The Department of Justice suing the state to get rid of its HB2 law that it claims discriminates against transgender people. That announcement coming just hours after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory sued the DOJ for declaring the state's new law a civil rights violation.
>> Our state legislature believed this was an unnecessary government overreach into the private sector.>> Reuter's correspondent Colleen Jenkins is in North Carolina.>> Supporters of the law praise the governor for standing up against the federal government and continuing to back the law despite the withering criticism he has faced.
Not surprisingly, his critics slammed him. They said the governor's wasting time and money defending a law they call unconstitutional. They said it's not a public safety issue but a civil rights issue. As one advocate told me, if the governor was truly concerned about public safety, he would educate himself on the experiences of transgender people and realize that this law has put their safety at risk.
>> The Justice Department sent a letter to McCrory last week blasting HB2 and giving the state until Monday to say whether it would remedy the violations.>> We asked on Friday, the Department of Justice, for additional time. But they refused unless I made a statement where I would publicly agree with their interpretation of federal law.
I could not agree to that because I do not agree with their interpretation of federal law.>> Republican leaders of North Carolina's State Legislature also suing the US government over the law on Monday, hours after McCrory's lawsuit. In March, North Carolina became the first state in the country to ban people from using restrooms or changing rooms in public buildings and schools that do not match the sex on their birth certificate.