Trump-appointed judge rules against effort to stop Biden ESG regulations

 September 23, 2023

A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas failed to side with conservatives out to stop the Biden administration's ESG regulations.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued the ruling that denied the coalition of 26 states in the effort.

The ruling

"The rule does not violate the [Administrative Procedure Act]," Kacsmaryk wrote in his 14-page ruling, according to Fox News.

"While the Court is not unsympathetic to Plaintiffs’ concerns over ESG investing trends, it need not condone ESG investing generally or ultimately agree with the Rule to reach this conclusion," he continued.

The issue

"Back in January the State of Utah, along with 24 other states including Texas, sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over its '2022 Investment Duties Rule' that reversed an earlier holding under the Trump administration," the Texan reported.

"That previous rule restricted asset managers from considering ESG factors when making investment decisions, but the Biden administration rule reversed that," it added.

Likely appeal

"The decision will likely be appealed to a New Orleans-based federal appeals court. A subsidiary of oil drilling company Liberty Energy Inc (LBRT.N) and an oil and gas trade group are also plaintiffs in the case," Reuters reported.

"Congress in early March passed a Republican-backed resolution to repeal the rule. Biden, a Democrat, vetoed the proposal on March 20," it noted.

ESG has been a controversial issue in investing that allows factors related to the environment, social justice and diversity to be considered in investments.

Former President Donald Trump reversed the restrictions of ESG in investment decisions prior to the Biden administration reaffirming the practice. The Trump-appointed judge is also now becoming part of the controversy with conservatives upset over his lack of support in the case.

The case now stands in favor of the Biden administration despite leaders from 26 states arguing against the practice. The expected appeal will continue to draw attention to the issue as the case may become an important part of the 2024 presidential election.

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