Quick Takes

* North Carolina’s HB2 law is headed to the courts. Last week DOJ gave the state until the end of the day today to remedy the civil rights violations in the law. Instead, Governor McCrory announced that they would sue the federal government. This afternoon, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this:

Today, we are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina. We are seeking a court order declaring House Bill 2’s restroom restriction impermissibly discriminatory, as well as a statewide bar on its enforcement. While the lawsuit currently seeks declaratory relief, I want to note that we retain the option of curtailing federal funding to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina as this case proceeds.

But take a look at how she ended her announcement.

Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama Administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.

What a powerful moment in history we are witnessing!

* David Samuels caused quite a stir with his article in the New York Times Magazine about Ben Rhodes. The headlines I saw about it all sounded a lot like this one from Hot Air: How the White House manipulated the media to sell the Iran deal. As someone who was essentially named a “dupe” for Obama administration propaganda on the Iran deal, Jeffrey Goldberg responded today. Anyone who read the Samuels article should check this one out. Perhaps the most telling part was this:

In addition to my concerns about Samuels’s deployment of unsubstantiated allegations in the piece, and about the obvious lack of fact-checking, I consider it a strange lapse on the part of the Times Magazine to keep from its readers the fact that Samuels was an ardent opponent of the Iran deal, and was advocating, as early as 2009, for the bombing of Iran.

* One of the more awkward results of Paul Ryan’s decision to not endorse Donald Trump is that the Speaker is supposed to serve as co-chair of the nominating convention. That why this happened today:

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday that if Donald Trump wants him to step down as a co-chairman of the GOP convention, he will respect his wishes.

“He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention,” Ryan said when asked about that scenario in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

* The Obama administration’s efforts to open doors to re-entry for people coming out of prison took on another challenge today.

The Obama administration is trying to make it easier for ex-convicts to go to college.

The U.S. Department of Education released a resource guide Monday to give colleges and universities alternatives to asking for criminal history on college applications, a question that has been shown to prevent an estimated 70 million citizens from pursing higher education.

“We believe in second chances and we believe in fairness,” Secretary of Education John King, Jr. said in a statement. “The college admissions process shouldn’t serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students.”

* Finally, I hope you’ll enjoy this art form as much as I did.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.