On Tuesday, March 10, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing to examine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) semi-annual report to Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court heard opening arguments Tuesday in Seila Law v. the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—a case that could decide the constitutionality of the Bureau.
The CFPB was designed to rein in abusive practices in consumer credit marks, such as home mortgages and credit cards. CNBC states it returned $12 billion to consumers between 2011 and 2017 but stopped pursuing enforcement actions under President Donald Trump.
The CFPB has been the subject of several lawsuits, most recently by the California-based Seila Law. Seila Law alleges the CFPB’s insulation from presidential control is unconstitutional. The law firm challenged the agency after the CFPB targeted the firm 2017, CNBC states.
Kannon K. Shanmugan, attorney for Siela Law, who argues the CFPB was constructed against the U.S. constitution, had a clear message for the Supreme Court.
“The structure of the CFPB is unprecedented and unconstitutional,” Shanmugan said. “Never before in American history has Congress given so much executive power to a single individual who does not answer to the President.”
He added that by limiting the President’s ability to remove the CFPB’s director, Congress violated the “core presidential prerogatives” to exercise the executive power that laws are faithfully executed.
Shanmugan continued his opening remarks by saying the Solicitor General contends that the Supreme Court should rewrite the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the president the power to remove the CFPB’s director.
“But the constitutional question, in this case, arises in the context of a defense to an enforcement proceeding and not a facial challenge,” he said.
Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:
- Financial accounts of the U.S. (March 12)