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ARLINGTON, Va. – The credit union and banking associations that have brought suit against California’s credit card disclosure law, and effectively blocked its implementation through temporary judicial injunction, do not have the standing to bring a case at all, according to a brief filed by the state of California in the case. The court will decide on December 6 whether or not the law will be allowed to take effect. The coalition of CUNA, NAFCU, the banking associations and card issuing national banks has until November 15 to file their response to the State’s brief. According to a rough analysis of the lengthy brief, prepared by NAFCU, there is little surprising in the State’s position. In addition to arguing that the trade associations have no standing, the state’s Department of Financial Institutions argued that NCUA’s objections do not preempt the statute because any preemption analysis should be conducted under the Truth-in-Lending act and not under the other federal acts which regulate financial institutions. The agency also argued that the state law gives California real benefits that are greater than the burdens the law would impose on financial institutions issuing credit cards. A key date in the case will likely be November 22 when the Court is set to decide on whether the state should be forced to enter a key document into the case record as part of the discovery process. The document in question is a memo or analysis that the Department of Financial Institutions prepared for the California governor prior to his decision to sign or veto the legislation. In that analysis, both CUNA and NAFCU have contended, the agency argued against the governor signing the measure into law and CUNA’s general counsel Eric Richard has speculated the reasons cited might reflect agreement with many of the positions against the law that the plaintiffs in the case have raised. The state has refused to turn the document over in the case, citing a “deliberative privilege” that, Richard said, is novel and the Court may not support even though a California magistrate did support the state’s claim.

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