On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the emergency request from the National Association for Fixed Annuities (“NAFA”) for an injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions. Nat’l Ass’n for Fixed Annuities v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, D.C. Cir., No. 16-5345, per curiam order 12/15/16. In a one-paragraph order, the panel ruled that NAFA “has not satisfied the stringent requirements for an injunction pending appeal.” NAFA’s challenge to the rule had already been rejected twice by Judge Moss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (see our blog here).
The Department also won a favorable ruling in a similar lawsuit challenging the new rule and exemptions in Kansas (see blog available here). Other lawsuits challenging the rule are pending in Texas and Minnesota, and the specter of a repeal, delay or revision of the rule after the Trump Administration takes office looms large.