Stenehjem Says He Plans To Spearhead Separate Lawsuit Challenging Transgender Bathroom Rule

During a stop in Fargo Thursday, May 19, 2016, at The Village Family Service Center, Attorney General and gubernatorial announced his plan focusing on reforming incarceration to reduce corrections spending and to work on strategies to reduce recidivism. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has taken some heat from Doug Burgum, his opponent in the NDGOP’s gubernatorial primary, attacking him for not joining a Texas-led lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom rule.

“It’s disappointing that, despite his recent campaign rhetoric, our current Attorney General did not take the time to join his Republican colleagues in fighting this egregious example of federal overreach,” Doug Burgum said in a statement released by his campaign yesterday. “North Dakotans know that these decisions should be made at the local level, not by Washington, and our elected officials have an obligation to stand up for our rights as a state.”

Today, speaking to talk radio host Scott Hennen, Stenehjem said he has decided not to join Texas but instead file a separate lawsuit as a part of a separate coalition of state interests.

“I have been working for a number of days now on a response to this. We are going to file a lawsuit in the 8th Circuit,” he said. “The lawsuit filed by Texas was not in our circuit.”

Stenehjem said he felt the 8th Circuit might be a more advantageous route for this sort of a lawsuit.

He said that he expects the lawsuit to be filed next week.

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