New York, April 27, 2009 — James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, is available to speak with media about Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, which the United States Supreme Court will hear tomorrow, April 28.
At issue is whether New York and other states are able to investigate potential racial discrimination in the lending practices of national banks and their affiliates. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the power to investigate such activities is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government, or whether state officials can also stop discriminatory lending.
Tierney: “The federal government could not be more wrong in arguing its position. The attorneys general have long been involved in battling fraud in mortgage lending. They got it first and they got it right.
“Unfortunately, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and other federal agencies, whose prime responsibilities are bank fiscal soundness and not protection of consumers, filed suit in order to stop attorneys general and state banking regulators from performing their historic regulatory functions over all lending institutions.
“In a rare show of unanimity, all state attorneys general signed an amicus brief in support of New York and against the OCC’s position.”
Tierney, the former attorney general of Maine, is available to speak with reporters about Cuomo v. Clearing House Association and the role of state attorneys in investigating the lending practices of national banks. Tierney can be reached directly at 207-837-1877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
James E. Tierney is the director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, where he has also taught as a lecturer-in-law since the fall of 2000. Tierney served as the attorney general of Maine from 1980 until 1990. He is currently a consultant to attorneys general and others.
The National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School is a legal research, education and policy center that examines the legal and policy implications of the work of state attorneys general. Collaborating with attorneys general, academics and other members of the legal community, the Program develops and distributes legal information that state prosecutors can use to carry out their civil and criminal roles.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.