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Morrisey joins lawsuit opposing US law

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging a federal bankruptcy law, and has filed a "friend of the court" brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of a New York gun law.

Morrisey announced Thursday that West Virginia would join seven other states in a lawsuit challenging the Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.

A section of that law allows the federal government to decide, with minimal judicial review, which of a bankrupt company's creditors to bail out.

The provision allows the government to decide how much money investors will receive when a company fails. Although two states might have invested the same amount of money, one could receive a payout while the other might not.

"The Orderly Liquidation Authority allows unelected Washington bureaucrats to pick winners and losers among affected creditors, entirely abandoning the rule of law," Morrisey said in a statement.

"The Orderly Liquidation Authority disadvantages the small community banks that compose the overwhelming majority of banks in West Virginia," he said. "The survival of those community banks is critical to the ability of West Virginians to borrow money to buy a home, pay for college or start a business."

Morrisey said joining the lawsuit also is important for the state because it holds investments in many institutions that could be covered by the Orderly Liquidation Authority.

Also Thursday, Morrisey announced West Virginia would join 19 other states to file a "friend of the court" brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case that challenges the constitutionality of a New York law that requires residents to show a particular need before they can obtain a concealed weapons permit.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals previously upheld the law, ruling an individual's Second Amendment right to bear arms ends at his or her front door.

Morrisey contends the Second Circuit Court's decision goes against a 2008 Supreme Court decision where justices ruled the Second Amendment allows law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

"One 'keeps' arms inside the home, but one 'bears' arms outside of the home. Any ruling to the contrary simply ignores this plain language," Morrisey said in a statement.

He said the New York case affects West Virginia residents because the Second Circuit Court's ruling might influence future court decisions.

"Such a narrow view of the Second Amendment will chip away at this core constitutional right," he said.

He said the court decision also would hamper West Virginia's reciprocity agreements with other states, where individuals holding concealed carry permits in this state are allowed to carry their weapons across state lines.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or Follow him at


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