WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It may take months, even years, before the state and the federal government to settle the dispute over House Bill 2.
Steven Friedland, professor of law and senior scholar at Elon University, said he expects the case will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
Friedland said the highest court in the country hasn't heard a case like this, so there's no known precedent.
Friedland thinks Governor Pat McCrory's announcement that the state is suing the federal government over HB2 was an effort to buy more time.
"The feds gave them a certain limited amount of time," he said. "Obviously it wasn't enough to them. Instead of doings something the feds wanted them to do, they decided the best defense is a good offense."
With the counter lawsuit coming from US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, it appears the federal government is not going to let up on this issue and the legal battle could be lengthy.
"There's a chance we'll be talking about this definitely for a while longer," he said "This has been like a river out of its bed. We don't know what direction its going to run in and its got the attention certainly of the country but the federal government."
"We're looking at a law that doesn't seem to have an exact precedent. Doesn't look like the Supreme Court has this case before it. It won't rule on something like this for a while," he added.