In a stirring twist to a decade-long debate, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday its decision to delve into a dispute over debit card swipe fees. This case revolves around a retailer’s challenge to a Federal Reserve rule and could potentially dismantle previous legal foundations, prompting a cascade of fresh challenges to long-standing agency regulations.
Justices Debit Card Rules : The Lawsuit in the Limelight
Corner Post Inc., a convenience store nestled in North Dakota, is thrust into the national spotlight as it spearheads the movement to reexamine the Federal Reserve’s Regulation II. This regulation, birthed in 2011, sets a ceiling on the interchange fees banks can bill merchants for processing debit card transactions.
Like a runner challenging the stopwatch, Corner Post disputes the ticking clock of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Act’s sands run out in six years for rule challenges. While Corner Post asserts they commenced their legal battle within a breezy three years of feeling Regulation II’s pinch, the Eighth Circuit begs to differ. In a decision that echoed across legal corridors, they opined that the clock started ticking with the rule’s publication, not the onset of the alleged financial bruise.
The Underlying Controversy: Where does the Money Go?
Drilling down into the nitty-gritty, Regulation II finds its roots in the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin Amendment, crafted with a vision to moderate these interchange fees, colloquially termed debit card swipe fees. The mandate? Fees ought to mirror the bank’s actual processing expenses.