facebook linkedin twitter

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Consumer Bureau’s Authority

October 18, 2019 by Dan McCue
The U.S. Supreme Court building, June 2019. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Friday to wade into a politically charged dispute over whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, is constitutional.

The justices will be reviewing an appeals court decision that upheld the structure of the watchdog agency, but the Trump administration, among others, contends the bureau is unlawfully autonomous.

The CFPB was created as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation in response to the financial crisis.

But Seila Law LLC, the California law firm that is the named petitioner in the case says the structure of the bureau violates the separation of powers.

“The Constitution empowers the President to keep federal officers accountable by removing them from office,” the law firm’s writ of certiorari states. “While in limited circumstances the Court has upheld the constitutionality of certain multi-member ‘independent’ agencies, whose leading officers the President can remove only for cause, the Court has never upheld the constitutionality of an independent agency that exercises significant executive authority and is headed by a single person.

“In 2010, Congress created just such an agency: the CFPB,” the brief continues. “Headed by a single director removable only for cause, the CFPB possesses substantial executive authority, including the power to implement and enforce 19 federal consumer-protection statutes.”

The Justice Department has already taken the position the separation of powers question presented by the law firm is “important” and “warrants this Court’s review in an appropriate case.”

Although the justices did not explain their rationale for taking up the case, they did ask that all sides in the case brief and prepare to argue an additional question: Whether, if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is found unconstitutional on the basis of the separation of  powers, can it be severed from the Dodd-Frank Act?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cato Institute, Southeastern Legal Foundation, state of Texas and a group of separation of powers scholars are among those who have filed briefs in the case.

In The News

Health

Voting

Supreme Court

Mississippi Argues Supreme Court Should Overturn Roe v. Wade

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let... Read More

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the office of Mississippi's Republican attorney general argued in papers filed Thursday... Read More

July 6, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Deaf Woman’s Emotional Distress Suit

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear a case in its next term that could expand rights of... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear a case in its next term that could expand rights of discrimination victims to collect compensation for "emotional distress." A ruling that allows the compensation could widely broaden the liability for discrimination, potentially allowing anyone victimized by... Read More

July 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Strikes Down Disclosure Rules for Political Donors

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a California law that required nonprofits to disclose lists of their... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a California law that required nonprofits to disclose lists of their biggest donors, holding the requirement burdened donors’ First Amendment rights and was not narrowly tailored to an important government interest. In a 6-3 ruling authored by... Read More

July 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Voting Restrictions

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday to uphold two provisions of Arizona’s election law that critics argued unfairly impinged... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday to uphold two provisions of Arizona’s election law that critics argued unfairly impinged on the rights of Black, Hispanic and Native Americans voters. By a 6-3 margin, the justices held that a 2016 law that limits who can return... Read More

June 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Pipeline Company Can Use Eminent Domain to Claim State Land

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday a company building a natural gas pipeline in New Jersey can continue to... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday a company building a natural gas pipeline in New Jersey can continue to rely on eminent domain to claim state land in its path. The 5-4 ruling by the court included both liberal and conservative members of the court... Read More

Transgender Rights, Religion Among Cases Justices Could Add

WASHINGTON (AP) — A closely watched voting rights dispute from Arizona is among five cases standing between the Supreme Court... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — A closely watched voting rights dispute from Arizona is among five cases standing between the Supreme Court and its summer break. But even before the justices wrap up their work, likely later this week, they could say whether they'll add more high-profile issues... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top