Photo: AP

Bullies. Whether they’re taking your lunch money, calling you names online or compelling you to follow landmark civil rights legislation, no one likes a bully. That includes North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, who vowed this week to take on the biggest, baddest bully of all: The United States Department of Justice.

After federal authorities demanded his state suspend the transphobic bathroom bill they say violates the Civil Rights Act by Monday, the Republican lawmaker said that North Carolina would “take no action,” potentially losing millions in federal education funding.

“That deadline will come and go,” Moore told reporters on Thursday. “We don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date. That’s not how this works.”

How it works, however, is a matter of some dispute, as the Justice Department attempts to enforce a relatively new interpretation of the Civil Rights Act’s Title IX provision. From The Associated Press:

The DOJ letters cited the appellate ruling protecting a Virginia high school student’s right to use bathrooms aligned with his new gender identity, which also applies to North Carolina and other states in the Fourth Circuit.

A similar case in suburban Chicago was settled after the Education Department threatened the loss of millions in federal funding, but a group of parents in that district, in Palatine, Illinois, sued Wednesday to challenge the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX to include gender identity.

North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger echoed Moore’s frustration, complaining that the federal government was making an issue out of the non-issue that his state itself chose to make an issue.

“This might be part of what you’re seeing with both the Bernie Sanders and the Trump pushes,” Berger told The Charolette Observer. “People are angry, and one of the reasons they’re angry is because of the failure—particularly of the federal government—to do the things that the people know need to be done, and yet they go off on a tangent like this and push radical social engineering.”