RADZANOWER V. TOUCHE ROSS & CO., 426 U. S. 148 (1976)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Radzanower v. Touche Ross & Co., 426 U.S. 148 (1976)

Radzanower v. Touche Ross & Co.*

No. 75-268

Argued March 30, 1976

Decided June 7, 1976

426 U.S. 148


Venue in a suit against a national banking association charged with violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 held to be governed by the venue provision of the National Bank Act, 12 U.S.C. § 94, which provides that an action against a national banking association may be had in any federal district court within the district in which such association may be established, rather than by § 27 of the Securities Exchange Act, which provides that any action to enforce any liability or duty under that Act may be brought in any district where the violation occurred or in the district wherein the defendant is found or transacts business. Pp. 426 U. S. 152-158.

(a) Under a basic principle of statutory construction,

"[w]here there is no clear intention otherwise, a specific statute will not be controlled or nullified by a general one, regardless of the priority of enactment."

Morton v. Mancari, 417 U. S. 535, 417 U. S. 550-551. Pp. 153-154.

(b) A pro tanto repeal of § 94 by implication is not indicated on the ground that the two Acts are irreconcilable, since the underlying purpose of the Securities Exchange Act (enacted 70 years after the National Bank Act) was, not to regulate the activities of national banks as such, but to promote fair dealing on the securities markets; and the broad § 27 venue provision was intended to further that goal by enabling enforcement suits to be brought wherever a defendant could be found, whereas the narrow § 94 venue provision was intended for the convenience of banking institutions, and to prevent interruption of their business that might result from their books being sent great distances. In the very few instances where actions for securities violations are brought against banking institutions, the requirement that suit be

Page 426 U. S. 149

brought were the defendant is established is no insurmountable burden. Pp. 426 U. S. 154-157.

(c) Nor is repeal of § 94 to be implied on the ground that the later securities statute covers the whole subject of the earlier bank statute. The subjects covered by the two statutes are wholly different, and nothing in the legislative history of the securities statute manifests an intention to pro tanto repeal § 94. Pp. 426 U. S. 157-158.

516 F.2d 896, affirmed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 426 U. S. 158.

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