Another Trump Defeat: US Court Upholds Obama-Era Retirement Advice Rule
A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday upheld an Obama-era rule designed to avoid conflicts of interests when brokers give retirement advice, in a possible setback for President Donald Trump’s efforts to scale back government regulation.
The stinging 81-page ruling comes just days after Trump ordered the Labor Department to review the “fiduciary” rule — a move widely interpreted as an effort to delay or kill the regulation.
The decision by Chief Judge Barbara Lynn for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas is a stunning defeat for the business and financial services industry groups that had sought to overturn it.
And while it is not expected to stop the Labor Department from delaying the rule’s April 10 compliance deadline while it conducts the review, some legal experts say it could make it more difficult for the Labor Department to find a way to justify scrapping or significantly altering the rule.
This marks the second time now a federal district court has upheld the fiduciary rule. A third court, meanwhile, rejected an effort to stay the rule’s implementation.
“Three courts have now carefully considered the full range of industry attacks on the DOL’s best interest fiduciary rule, and they have firmly rejected all of them,” said Stephen Hall, the legal director of Better Markets, a non-profit group that supports the rule.