NC senator: Courts will decide fight over bathroom law

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress Momentum builds to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks Public health expert: Biden administration needs to have agencies on the 'same page' about COVID MORE (R-N.C.) sidestepped weighing in on the escalating battle over his state's controversial bathroom law Monday, saying it's now up for the courts to decide. 

"When things get into the courts system, that's how it has to play out," Burr told The Hill when asked about the dueling lawsuits over the law, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex. 

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"I would have loved to see them work out an agreement that both sides were happy with. They either chose not to do it or couldn't," Burr said. 

His comments come after North Carolina sued the federal government and the Department of Justice in turn sued North Carolina, saying the state law violates the Civil Rights Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said earlier Monday that the DOJ filed its lawsuit because of the actions taken by state, adding that it’s "about a great deal more than bathrooms." 

The DOJ had ordered North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to respond by Monday confirming the state government “will not comply with or implement HB2," but the Republican governor called the deadline "unrealistic." 

Burr has been under pressure from Democrats to take a tougher stance against the state's law, which has earned McCory — who is also up for reelection in November — fierce public criticism. 

Cole Leiter, the press secretary for Burr's Democratic opponent, Deborah Ross, slammed the senator on Monday.

“Instead of stepping up to mediate this conflict and help North Carolina find a positive way forward ... [he] continues to sit on the sidelines," Leiter said. 

McCory, speaking at a press conference Monday, said that despite the looming court battle Congress should "bring clarity to our national anti-discrimination provisions." 

Referring to McCory's push, Leiter said the state's congressional delegation needs "to show leadership and clarify that discrimination in any form is not acceptable under the law — and that leadership needs to start with … Senator Richard Burr."

Burr currently leads Ross in polling, according to RealClearPolitics's polling average. While Ross narrowly outraised him during the first quarter of the year, Burr is leading in cash on hand. 

Lisa Hagen and Ben Kamisar contributed.