The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Labor Department, asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson on Tuesday to stay the current court case filed against Labor’s fiduciary rule by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
But Mark Johnson, an attorney at Greene Espel representing Thrivent, told the judge Friday that the case should move ahead.
The same day, Judge Daniel Crabtree, in the case brought by Market Synergy in Kansas against DOL’s fiduciary rule, denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.
The original decision in the Market Synergy case was for a motion for preliminary injunction. The ruling issued Friday was Crabtree’s decision on the parties’ motions for summary judgment.
In the Market Synergy ruling Friday, “the court heavily relied on its previous decision to find once again that the previous administration followed the law in promulgating the fiduciary rule,” said Thomas Clark, a lawyer with The Wagner Law Group. “However, the positive decision for the rule will not have a long-term effect if Trump’s DOL continues to move forward with delay in attempt to repeal or rewrite” the rule.
In the Thrivent case, DOJ cited the Labor Department’s review of the fiduciary rule under the recent directive by President Donald Trump, as well as Labor’s recent filing with the Office of Management and Budget to delay the rule’s April 10 compliance date.
“In light of the potential for change to the rulemaking, there is good cause to continue the March 3, 2017 summary judgment hearing and stay proceedings pending the outcome of the Department’s review,” the DOJ attorneys wrote.