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Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Revised 100% Certification Rule

Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Revised 100% Certification Rule

What You Need to Know

On Friday, June 21, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas – Fort Worth Division granted Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in 360 Degree Education v. U.S. Department of Education. This order prevents the Department’s revised 100% Certification Rule from taking effect on July 1, 2024. The order did not specify whether this injunction applies to only the parties in this case, or will be applied nationwide, but since the Plaintiff sought nation-wide relief, it appears this is a nation-wide injunction. Additionally, previous Fifth Circuit decisions indicate that the injunction may apply nationwide to all entities.

This ruling is significant as one of the criteria for a preliminary injunction is that the case is likely to succeed on the merits. In addition to this criteria, District Judge Mark Pittman held that the Plaintiff satisfied all four required conditions for granting a preliminary injunction:

  1. Plaintiffs demonstrated that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of this case;
  2. Plaintiffs demonstrated that it will experience irreparable harm if the preliminary injunction was not granted;
  3. The potential harm to the institutions outweighed any interests that the Department may have in enforcing the rule; and
  4. The preliminary injunction is in the favor of the public interest, as the public interest is served when the law is followed.

AACS will continue to monitor this litigation, and will provide updates to membership with any further updates about the scope of the preliminary injunction.

Why This is Important

As stated above, the revised 100% Certification Rule is set to take effect on July 1, 2024. We have provided updates to membership that the Department will use “enforcement discretion” for the period between July 1, 2024 and January 1, 2025. This ruling prevents the Department from enforcing the rule while the case is pending.

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