In “Republican States Challenge DOL ESG Rule in Court” and “25 States Bring Suit Against ESG Regulation,” PLANADVISER and PLANSPONSOR turned to benefits and executive compensation partner Brad Campbell for his commentary on 25 states challenging the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2022 rule that environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy can be used in fiduciary decisions.
Campbell commented that it is “quite likely” the plaintiffs in the case assembled such a diverse group of litigants for this complaint to propose as many standing theories as possible in the hope that at least one would stick. He added that the arguments put forward for state government standing here, which rely on tax revenue, are tenuous and unlikely to be successful, and he describes the suit as a “political exercise, not a legal one.”
Campbell also said that it is “not an accident they picked a court in the [jurisdiction of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals].” He noted that the 5th Circuit has a history of ruling against DOL regulations, and selecting this venue when others were presumably available is most likely “venue shopping.”