District judge Richard Leon allowed the Federal Reserve’s debit interchange rule to remain in place while the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. hears the case. In July, Leon said that the Fed’s rule violated congressional intent in the Dodd-Frank Act by setting the interchange fee cap too high and failing to allow merchants to choose multiple unaffiliated PIN and signature networks for each card transaction they process.
In addition, the appeals court approved a request from both parties to expedite the appeal schedule, which means that a decision may come as early as next spring.
The Fed had argued that numerous parties would suffer “irreparable harm” if the rule was not temporarily stayed and that serious legal questions on the merits of the case remain. It also pointed out that the plaintiffs -- representatives of the retail and restaurant industries -- support retaining the current rule pending appeal.