Employment Law Report
Texas Federal Court Stays Enforcement of DOL’s New Definition of Spouse in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska
Texas, joined by several other states, sued the DOL over the new rule and sought a preliminary injunction in federal court enjoining its enforcement. Texas argued that the new rule infringed upon the state’s right to decide whether same-sex marriage is legally enforceable in Texas and exceeded the scope of the agency’s authority.
The Texas federal court held that Texas had a likelihood of success on the merits. The result of the ruling is that the DOL may not enforce the new rule in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.
Meanwhile, this term the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether it is constitutional for states to: 1) prohibit same sex marriages; and 2) refuse to recognize same sex marriages that were performed in states where they are valid. The Court’s rulings on these issues could alter the Texas court’s injunction and shed some light on whether the new definition of spouse will be enforceable.
The injunction granted by the Texas federal court only applies to Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska, which means that if you live in any of the remaining states, the DOL rule is enforceable.