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

October 18, 2019 by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Consumer Bureau’s Authority
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.

A+
a-
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Supreme Court
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Supreme Court

    Supreme Court Has Lots of Work to Do and Little Time to Do It With a Sizable Case Backlog

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year still undecided, including ones that could reshape the law on everything from guns to abortion to social media. The justices are also still weighing whether former... Read More

    The Washington Post Said It Had the Alito Flag Story Three Years Ago and Chose Not to Publish

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American flag that flew at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home, the Washington Post acknowledged it had the same story more than three years ago and... Read More

    May 28, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to ‘Vague’ EPA Rules

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear San Francisco, California’s, challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear San Francisco, California’s, challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to tell cities not to pollute water bodies without setting specific limits to guide them. The central issue in the case revolves around the city’s practice... Read More

    Supreme Court Finds No Bias Against Black Voters in a South Carolina Congressional District

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court 's conservative majority on Thursday preserved a Republican-held South Carolina congressional district, rejecting a lower-court ruling... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court 's conservative majority on Thursday preserved a Republican-held South Carolina congressional district, rejecting a lower-court ruling that said the district discriminated against Black voters. In dissent, liberal justices warned that the court was insulating states from claims of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. In... Read More

    May 16, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Justices Hold Consumer Protection Agency’s Funding Is Constitutional

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a constitutional challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ruling the mechanism... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a constitutional challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ruling the mechanism used to fund the agency does not violate the appropriations clause. The decision, by a 7-2 vote, ended what many considered the most dangerous legal challenge... Read More

    70 Years Ago, School Integration was a Dream Many Believed Could Actually Happen. It Hasn't.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Seventy years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled separating children in schools by race was... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Seventy years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled separating children in schools by race was unconstitutional. On paper, that decision — the fabled Brown v. Board of Education, taught in most every American classroom — still stands. But for decades, American schools... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top