The DOL's response to the ruling is a wildcard. Sources have noted to BenefitsPRO the potential that the Labor Department may drop its defense of the rule, and if it did, that AARP and other consumer advocates could petition to step in to defend the fiduciary rule. (Photo: Mike Scarcella/ALM)

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' bombshell ruling vacating the Labor Department's fiduciary rule has left industry stakeholders, consumer advocates, legal experts, politicians — and likely regulators — scrambling to understand the immediate consequences for the investment marketplace.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.