It asks Lubbock-based United States District Court Judge Sam Cumming to toss the state’s lawsuit out of court.
The lawsuit said EEOC “instructs employers, including the State of Texas, to ignore state and local laws that disqualify convicted felons from holding certain jobs.”
It warned of dire consequences such as schools being forced to hire convicted felons.
Lawyers for the federal government claimed on Friday that the EEOC has only issued guidance about discrimination against convicted felons, and that such discrimination can have a disparate effect on, for example, racial minorities.
“First, Texas cannot demonstrate the existence of a final agency action,” lawyers for the federal government wrote. “The Guidance is just that – guidance.”
“The State may disagree with the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, but that does not imbue the interpretation with any legal consequences,” the federal response said.
The federal government also claimed that Texas has not yet suffered any harm from the EEOC’s opinion and therefore the issue is not appropriate for a lawsuit at this time.
The lawsuit remains pending in Lubbock. EverythingLubbock.com will follow up when the judge decides if the lawsuit can continue.