Recently a state’s right to enforce its anti discrimination and fair lending practice laws on federal banks was challenged. In a five to four decision, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld states’ rights in this regard by striking down a regulation by the chief federal regulator of national banks involving antidiscrimination, fair lending, and a state’s right to enforce these laws.
State laws are not normally enforced by the federal government, and this decision shows the importance of state power and influence on the issues that affect them. The federal government, thus far, has not been enforcing these laws which help combat discrimination and racism in the banking and economic industries. That the federal government has not worked with the states up to this point is quite telling.
Although this ruling provides some interesting questions as to the individual roles that the states and federal government play, and the separation of the two, it is ultimately the best decision for the nation. Fair lending and anti discrimination have become a corner stone of our economy and our society. That the federal government did not feel compelled to consider state laws regarding this is troubling given that the root of the issue is the civil and individual rights of all those that the ruling benefits. Anti discrimination and fair lending laws are vital to whom they protect. It is our duty as a nation to ensure that the rights of every citizen are protected at a state and a national level.