In other words, § 27(a) preempts what the State of Georgia has done

In other words, § 27(a) preempts what the State of Georgia has done

Both the Supreme Court and this Court have made clear that “any” does not mean “some” or “all but a few,” it means “all.” For example, in United States v. Gonzales, 520 U.S. 1, 117 S. Ct. 1032, 137 L. Ed. 2d 132 (1997), the question was whether the statutory phrase “`any other term of imprisonment’ means what it says or whether it should be limited to some subset of prison sentences.” Id. at 5, 117 S. Ct. at 1035 (internal quotation omitted). Because of the natural, expansive meaning of the word “any,” and the absence of any limiting language in the statute, the Court concluded that “any term of imprisonment” meant all terms of imprisonment, without exception. Id.

But they may not do so through agents unless the bank receives the majority of the proceeds generated by the loan

Other decisions of the Supreme Court and this Court emphasize and re-emphasize that “any” does not mean some, or most; it means all. See, e.g., United States v. Alvarez-Sanchez, 511 U.S. 350, 358, 114 S. Ct. 1599, 1604, 128 L. Ed. 2d 319 (1994) (noting that a statute referring to “any law enforcement officer” includes “federal, state, or local” officers); CBS Inc. v. PrimeTime 24 Joint Venture, 245 F.3d 1217, 1223 (11th Cir. 2001) (holding that “`any termination’ in the Improvement Act’s § 1005(a) (2) (B) (iii) grandfather clause means all terminations of any kind”); Coronado v. Bank Atl. Bancorp, Inc., 222 F.3d 1315, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2000) (holding that immunity under 31 U.S.C. § 5318(g) (3) for “any person under any law or regulation of the United States or any constitution, law, or regulation of any State” refers to all persons and all laws); Merritt v. Dillard Paper Co., 120 F.3d 1181, 1185-86 (11th Cir. 1997) (deciding that “participat [ion] in any manner” as used in anti-retaliation provision means “all” kinds of participation, even involuntary trial testimony).

In this case, we should interpret the statutory phrase “any loan” to mean all loans without exception, just as the Supreme Court in Gonzales interpreted the statutory phrase “any other term of imprisonment” to mean all other terms of imprisonment without exception, 520 U.S. at 5, 117 S. Ct. at 1035; just as the Supreme Court in Alvarez-Sanchez interpreted “any law enforcement officer” to mean all law enforcement officers without exception, 511 U.S. at 358, 114 S. Ct. at 1604; and just as we in Merritt interpreted “any termination” to mean all terminations of any kind without exception, 120 F.3d at 1185-86. 6

Just as a state cannot say for purposes of § 27(a) what a “State-chartered insured depository institution” is, it cannot say when such an institution is the entity “charg [ing]” the interest on a loan, and it cannot say what “any loan” is

Because loans that out-of-state banks make through in-state agents are within the broad scope of the term “any loan,” § 27(a) preempts state laws that attempt to regulate or restrict the interest rates that may be charged on those loans. It is as though the Georgia General Assembly rewrote the key language of that federal statutory provision by adding a sentence, so that it reads:

State-chartered insured depository institutions . payday loan places in Bryan Ohio. . may . . . charge on any loan . . . interest . . . at the rate allowed by the laws of the State . . . where the bank is located.

Preemption would be a meaningless doctrine if states could effectively rewrite federal statutes by adding conditions or limitations. In this instance, the rewrite would change the established, all-encompassing meaning of “any” as it is used in § 27(a). Language that limits the meaning of congressionally chosen terms must come from Congress, not from the states. Those are federal statutory terms. The power to define or redefine federal statutory terms is the power to evade or eviscerate these terms; it is the power to preempt the preemptive force of federal statutes, and it is a power the states do not have.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *