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Monday, January 19, 2009

US Supreme Court to Review Whether States Can Enforce Antidiscrimination Laws against Federally Chartered Banks

By Dino Tsibouris

The US Supreme Court will consider whether the New York Attorney General can enforce antidiscrimination laws against federally chartered banks. In The Clearing House Assoc., LLC v. Cuomo, 510 F.3d 105 (2d Cir. 2007), the New York-based Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the OCC's position that a state may not request or subpoena information relating to potential lending discrimination from such banks. Opinion at:

http://www.occ.treas.gov/law/OCCvCuomo.pdf

Originally, Eliot Spitzer started a probe to determine if banks were charging higher rates to minority applicants. As Attorney General Cuomo continued the investigation, the court ruled that national bank regulation is a matter of federal law, and that Congress left no role for the states.

The court could hear arguments and decide the case by the end of its term in late June. The case is Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, 08-453 at:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08-453.htm

All federally chartered lenders and their service providers should watch this closely.

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