The credit rating agencies remain under intense scrutiny amidst the current financial crisis. Congress is currently considering multiple proposals to alter the federal regime for regulating rating agencies. Meanwhile, large-scale investors such as the California Public Employees Retirement Services (CalPERS) have commenced major litigation to recover losses allegedly suffered because of rating-agency failures related to subprime mortgage-backed securities. None of the proposals currently before Congress addresses the role that private litigation based on state law should or should not play in the regime for regulating rating agencies. This Note argues that existing federal law directed at rating-agency regulation preempts state-based claims such as those asserted by CalPERS; however, the preemption provision itself and the lack of illuminating legislative history leave room for disagreement on the scope of preemption. Thus, this Note urges Congress to expressly consider whether state law claims against rating agencies would detract from the goal of improving rating accuracy. Concluding that state law claims against rating agency would work against improving rating accuracy, this Note argues that Congress should amend existing legislation to decisively preempt state law claims against rating agencies.
Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte
EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit. Although the case presented many serious [...]
Revisiting Water Bankruptcy
REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]
Defying Auer Deference
DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.F The Court overturned the D.C. [...]