Legal battle over HB2 could last months, even years

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It could be a drawn-out legal battle over HB2.

The legal battle between Gov. Pat McCrory and the U.S. Justice Department over HB2 is just beginning and could last months, even years.

Live Q&A: Join ABC11 Wednesday at 1 p.m. for a live Q&A on HB2 with UNC law professor Maxine Eichner

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a counter lawsuit Monday afternoon hours after McCrory filed a lawsuit against the DOJ.

"When the Justice Department takes that extraordinary step, they really mean business," said ABC Senior Legal Correspondent Sonny Hostin.

RELATED: SUPPORTERS LINE UP ON BOTH SIDES OF HB2 LEGAL FIGHT

Hostin expects the legal fight could be an uphill battle for the governor and legislative leaders.

The DOJ argues HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act.

WHAT DOES HB2 ACTUALLY SAY? READ THE WHOLE BILL HERE (.PDF)

"I think you've seen a real change when it comes to transgender rights, and while Title VII doesn't necessarily delineate transgender people as a protected class, we have seen federal courts almost uniformly provide that protection under the gap it sets and gender," Hostin said.

Read all ABC11 stories about HB2 here

The feds are seeking a temporary injunction against HB2.

"That means a court will try to deal with it rather quickly, so I suspect that within this month we should have a preliminary answer," Hostin said.

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