(AP) The White House is calling a North Carolina law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people "mean-spirited" and "inconsistent with the values of fairness and equality and justice."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest restated President Barack Obama's opposition to the law on Monday amid an intensifying showdown between the U.S. Justice Department and the state.

The Justice Department said last week the law violated the civil rights of transgender people. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the law in place.

Earnest says the Justice Department's action was taken "independent of any sort of political interference or direction from the White House."

He said the administration continued to conduct a separate review of whether agencies might cut funding to the state in response to the law.