Justice Department backs off request to halt 'bathroom bill'


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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Trump administration is taking steps to drop the federal government's legal fight against North Carolina's "bathroom bill."

The Justice Department wrote in a motion last week it needs time to rethink its 2016 request to halt North Carolina's requirement that transgender people use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. The federal judge responded by issuing a stay that essentially freezes efforts begun by lawyers under President Barack Obama.

The Justice Department's move was foreshadowed when it joined the Department of Education to reverse guidelines that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms corresponding to gender identity.

North Carolina residents challenging the law can press ahead with a separate lawsuit, but they've lost the dual punch provided by federal lawyers.

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