University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Texas v. United States PB-TX-0010
Docket / Court Case 7:15-cv-00056-O ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On March 18, 2015, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with the Attorneys General from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska, filed this federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The case, brought against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), asked ... read more >
On March 18, 2015, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with the Attorneys General from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska, filed this federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The case, brought against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), asked the court to strike down the DOL final rule defining "spouse" for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2611.

The FMLA defines "spouse" as "a husband or wife, as the case may be." 29 U.S.C. § 2611(13). In 1993, the Department's Interim Final Rule defined "spouse" as "a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in states where it is recognized." 58 Fed. Reg. 31817, 31835 (June 4, 1993). The 1995 Final Rule clarified that the law of the State where the employee resides would control for the purpose of determining eligibility for FMLA spousal leave. 80 Fed. Reg. 9990 (Feb. 25, 2015). Under the new rule, 29 C.F.R. Part 825, the FMLA moved from a "state of residence" to a "place of celebration" rule for the definition of spouse. That means that it would cover same-sex spouses if their marriage took place in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, even if they lived in (or moved to) a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage. The rule, described here, was scheduled to become effective on March 27, 2015.

On March 26, 2015, the day before the rule's effective date, the District Court (Judge Reed O'Connor) entered a preliminary injunction barring its enforcement. It's unclear whether that order applies to application of the rule outside of Texas, or outside of the states that are parties.

- 03/30/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Full faith and credit
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Labor
Plaintiff Description States of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
7:15-cv-00056-O (N.D. Tex.) 04/02/2015
PB-TX-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction/Stay of Administrative Proceedings 03/18/2015
PB-TX-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Preliminary Injunction] 03/26/2015 (2015 WL 1378752) (N.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0010-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges O'Connor, Reed Charles (N.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0010-0001 | PB-TX-0010-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Deane, William T. (Texas)
PB-TX-0010-0002 | PB-TX-0010-9000
Murphy, Michael P. (Texas)
PB-TX-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Luh, James C. (District of Columbia)
PB-TX-0010-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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