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The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in three cases Tuesday, including Watters v. Wachovia Bank, where the Court held that the National Bank Act and regulations promulgated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency preempt state laws regulating mortgage lending by national banks and their operating subsidiaries, affirming the Sixth Circuit's decision in the case. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Ginsburg, along with a dissent from Justice Stevens. Justice Thomas did not participate in this case.

In Global Crossing v. Metrophones, the Court held that Sections 201(b) and 207 of the Communications Act create a private right of action allowing a provider of payphone services to sue a long distance carrier for allegedly violating regulations governing compensation for coinless payphone calls. Metrophones sued Global Crossing, a long distance carrier, arguing that Global Crossing violated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations by failing to compensate Metrophones for coinless payphone calls, a practice determined by the FCC to be "unjust and unreasonable." The Court upheld the Ninth Circuit's decision in the case, which also held that that Metrophones could pursue the lawsuit. The Supreme Court determined that the FCC's "unreasonable practice" determination was lawful, and that the language of relevant Communications Act provisions allow a party injured by violations of Section 201(b) to bring a federal action for damages. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Breyer, along with a dissent from Justice Scalia and a second dissent from Justice Thomas.

Finally, in Zuni Public School District No. 89 v. Dept. of Education, the Court held that the US Department of Education properly applied an equalization public school funding formula in determining that New Mexico "equalized expenditures" for public school districts and could therefore offset federal Impact Aid funding by reducing state aid to individual school districts. The Court determined that the Department of Education is permitted by statute to refer to the the number of students in a school district as well as the amount of per-student expenditure in a school district when determining whether a state "equalizes expenditures" among public school districts. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Breyer, along with a concurrence from Justice Stevens, a second concurrence from Justice Kennedy, a dissent from Justice Scalia, and a second dissent from Justice Souter.


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