Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit



Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples.

Paxton and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska filed a voluntary dismissal on Friday with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, where the states had sued the Obama administration over a rule change to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. That change was intended to grant time off to legally married same-sex couples, even if they lived in a state like Texas that at the time did not recognize same-sex marriage.


Asked for comment on the dismissal, Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office, said, “Our filing speaks for itself.” The state had spent at least $26,881 on the case, according to legal costs obtained from the AG’s office.

This is the second case related to same-sex marriage that Texas has dropped in light of the high court’s ruling. This month, Paxton’s office ended its defense of the state’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage.

See here and here for the background. Reality’s a bitch, ain’t it, Kenny? I’m just glad this got resolved in such a relatively short period of time, as that will minimize the pain and inconvenience for the affected employees. And no one will ever have to worry about it again.

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2 Responses to Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit

  1. Katy Anders says:

    It’s still troubling that the state would have gone to so much trouble to keep family members from taking unpaid leave for a family crisis or event.

  2. Mainstream says:

    More in denial than Atty. Gen. Paxton is attorney Jared Woodfill, who yesterday filed a legal argument in the 14th Court of Appeals that the US Supreme Court decision only allows same sex partners to marry, but that for them to receive any financial benefit of such a marriage is still a violation of Texas state law. The filing came in Pidgeon v. Parker, concerning whether same-sex city employees married in other states could purchase City of Houston health policy benefits for their legal spouses.

    Given that the whole premise of the Supreme Court decision is equality of treatment in the context of marriage, I find it incomprehensible that Woodfill can argue with a straight face that the decision actually creates two classes of marriage, with different rights and responsibilities.

    The filing smacks me as frivolous, but I don’t know if the appeals court has the guts to stand up to such time-wasting antics.

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