It is the spirit and not the form of the law that keeps justice alive.
—Chief Justice Earl Warren, Fortune, November 1955
As institutions that hold and process other people’s money, banks are highly regulated. Business imperatives drive them forward, but laws apply brakes along the way. The many legal curbs on banking in the United States come from a variety of domains, including constitutional law, federal law, state law, and common law adjudicated in courts of equity.
Yet to understand the principles underpinning U.S. banking law, one need go no further than the highest court of the land—the United States Supreme Court. Describing this treasure of democracy, Massachusetts Representative ...