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Southeastern Underwriters Association Seua Case


Definition of "South-eastern underwriters association (seua) case"

Important 1944 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the insurance business constituted interstate commerce and was thus subject to the SHERMAN antitrust act. This decision came in U.S. v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association, a price-fixing case, brought against a fire insurance rate-making group by the U.S. Attorney General, at the urging of the state of Missouri. SEUA relied for its defense on the 1869 Paul v. Virginia decision by the Supreme Court that insurance activities were not commerce and the Sherman Act did not apply. The high court subsequently accepted the argument that the industry was subject to the antitrust law. In response, Congress passed the MCCARRAN-FERGUSON act (public law 15) in 1945, in effect overruling the court by stating affirmatively that regulation of insurance was the job of the states, not the federal government. The law exempted insurance from federal antitrust rules if it was covered by state regulation.



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