Looking back six years ago finds the Supreme Court ruling against NCUA’s interpretation of the Federal Credit Union Act. In a closely-held decision of 5-4 Justice Clarence Thomas found that NCUA’s interpretation “violates the established cannon of construction that similar language must be accorded a consistent meaning.” According to CUNA legal experts, the decision was concerned almost exclusively with the standing issue, that is, did the banks have the right to question a federal agency’s interpretation of who may join a federal credit union. And the Court found that they did. “It was disappointing but not surprising,” said NAFCU President Ken Robinson. “Hopefully H.R. 1151 will pass. Congress created those words and now we need them to reinterpret them for 1998. Remember, those words were applied to the country in 1934-during the height of the depression-and now they need to clarify them for our country’s economy today.”

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