Clearing House Association, et al. v. Spitzer
Our attorneys are representing the major banking trade associations, including the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and the Financial Institutions Roundtable, as amici curiae in consolidated proceedings against New York Attorney General, based on his efforts to enforce New York law against national banks.
In two separate but related actions, the OCC and the Clearing House Association each separately sued the Attorney General to prevent him from obtaining information and potentially pursuing enforcement proceedings against certain large national banks pursuant to New York antidiscrimination law. On behalf of the major banking trade associations, our attorneys filed an amicus brief in support of the Clearing House, arguing that the Attorney General's actions were preempted by the NBA. In addition, Arnold & Porter argued that there was no basis for the Attorney General's suggestion that, even if his investigation would be barred if undertaken based on state law, he could pursue it as an "aggrieved person" under the federal Fair Housing Act. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with these arguments, finding that Congress expressly directed that the regulation of national banks be the exclusive responsibility of the OCC, and that nothing in the Fair Housing Act superseded or otherwise altered that express directive. The Wall Street Journal called the ruling "an absolute victory for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency . . . as well as the Clearing House Association." The case is now on appeal in the Second Circuit, where our attorneys have filed an amicus brief in support of both the OCC and The Clearing House.