The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas today declined the U.S. Department of Labor's request to dissolve its preliminary injunction issued last month preventing its unconstitutional revisions to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) from taking effect. The revisions sought to redefine “spouse” to include same-sex couples. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement after the hearing:
“No federal agency has the power to re-write the laws of Congress, and the Department of Labor’s regulatory attempt to redefine marriage in Texas infringes upon our state sovereignty and violates the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, it would essentially strong-arm employers to choose to either violate federal regulations or state law. The federal judge rightly stopped this unconstitutional FMLA rule from taking effect, and we will continue to defend our sovereignty in this case to ensure that the Obama Administration’s effort to override our laws via federal rulemaking is permanently halted.”
On March 18, Attorney General Paxton’s office filed suit against the U.S. Department of Labor over the newly revised definition of “spouse” in the FMLA, which includes a same-sex spouse if the marriage occurred in a state that recognizes such marriages from other jurisdictions. On March 26, a federal district court judge granted the State’s request for a preliminary injunction over the proposed rule.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office has been joined in this lawsuit by the states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.