The ongoing legal battle between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and the Department of Labor over Labor’s fiduciary rule continues.
Thrivent has been fighting to halt the fiduciary rule’s anti-arbitration clause set out in the rule’s best-interest contract exemption, and filed a motion for preliminary injunction against the rule.
Labor filed on Oct. 13 a brief opposing Thrivent’s motion for a preliminary injunction, stating that the court “need not rule on this motion, but instead should grant the Department’s motion to stay the case.”
If the court does not stay the case, Labor argued, “there is no need for preliminary relief here, where summary judgment has been fully briefed and Plaintiff is concerned about an event that will occur in January 2018 at the earliest, if at all,” the brief states, referring to the impending 18-month delay by Labor of the rule’s Jan. 1 compliance date.
But Thrivent argued in its Oct. 18 reply brief that Labor “spends almost the entirety” of its opposition “attempting to convince the court that the harm currently sustained by Thrivent, and the further harm that Thrivent will incur when the anti-arbitration condition becomes applicable, is not really real.”
The attorneys for Thrivent further argued in the 23-page brief that with “respect to that harm, Thrivent’s opening brief details the numerous ways in which the anti-arbitration condition (1) currently and irreparably harms Thrivent, and (2) will further harm Thrivent if and when it becomes applicable.” The brief cites potential class-action lawsuits as one example of potential harm.
The anti-arbitration condition, the attorneys said, “is part of an existing regulation that is looming over Thrivent and is currently set to apply in less than two-and-a-half months.”