Monday, April 30, 2007

Is the Virginia law regarding viatical settlements an unconstitutional interference with interstate commmerce?

In Life Partners, Inc. v. Morrison, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Niemeyer, joined by Judges Michael and Traxler, held "that the sale of life insurance policies by terminally ill patients directly and substantially affects the business of insurance and that the Virginia Viatical Settlements Act 'relates to' such business and was enacted 'for the purpose of regulating' such business," and therefore the federal McCarran-Ferguson Act "saves the Virginia Act from preemption of the Commerce Clause and renders it constitutional."

UPDATE: A few minutes after this was posted, somebody called me to ask me about the opinion. Do you practice in this area of the law? No, I don't. What was your interest in the case? I am always interested in the intersection of Virginia law and federal law. What else was interesting about the opinion? It is always interesting when "liberal" and "conservative" members of the Court agree on constitutional issues, of any kind.

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