WASHINGTON A group of retail trade associations and large retailers wants the Supreme Court to review the Federal Reserve Board's recent cap on debit card swipe fees that merchants say is higher than the fee limit envisioned in the Dodd-Frank Act.
Although a district court judge sided with retailers in a harshly worded ruling last year that called on the Fed to go back to the drawing board a three-judge federal appeals court panel in the District of Columbia overturned that decision in March and upheld the Fed's cap of roughly 24 cents per transaction.
But in their petition to the Supreme Court, the retailer groups, who were plaintiffs in the original case, argued the appeals court ruling made certain legal errors and "bent over backward to find ambiguity" in Dodd-Frank. (The law's swipe fee provision authored as an amendment by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. tasked the Fed with ensuring that debit interchange fees were "reasonable and proportional" with the cost of processing a transaction.)
"This case is of staggering importance," the groups said in the petition, filed on Monday. "The economic burden of the [Fed's] error will be felt virtually every time a consumer swipes a debit card."
The groups filing the petition include the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association, NRF member Boscov's Department Store and NACS member Miller Oil Co.