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Can States Enforce Their Civil Rights Laws Against National Banks?

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Title: Can States Enforce Their Civil Rights Laws Against National Banks?
Author: Graham, Ann
Abstract: The Second Circuit's decision in favor of the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in Cuomo v. The Clearing House Association, found that deference was due the federal agency's interpretation of one of its regulations, which provided for the OCC's exclusive visitorial power over national banks, precluding the opposing party, the New York attorney general, from enforcing its state anti-discrimination laws against a national bank. The Chevron Doctrine grants the deference afforded to federal agency interpretation of their statutes. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari. This Article first summarizes the facts and arguments made before the Second Circuit, including the existing, relevant case law tending to similar questions of law. It then addresses the issues presented with the Second Circuit's decision and analysis, such as states' interest in protecting its citizens from predatory or discriminatory lending, especially in the context of the subprime lending crisis. The Article concludes that the Supreme Court's review and decision in this case will allow it to respond to ambiguities lingering from its previous decisions. But ultimately, because of the necessary interpretation of the Chevron Doctrine, administrative lawyers and officials across disciplines will be significantly affected by the Supreme Court's analysis.
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Date: 2009

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