Three key Supreme Court decisions, including one rejecting liability for lawyers, accountants and bankers who aid in the violation of securities laws, have been on the chopping block in the Senate’s debate on major financial reform legislation. One survived an amendment attempt Wednesday, but two remain on the endangered list.
The Senate, voting 60-35 late Wednesday, rejected a proposal by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., to overturn the 1978 decision in Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp. In Marquette, the justices ruled that the 1863 National Bank Act pre-empted state interest rate regulation. The Court interpreted the word “located” in the act to mean the location of the business and not the location of the customer. The decision opened the door for national banks to relocate to states that lack interest rate limits.