February 2, 2018

Court Rules Rogue CFPB Is Constitutional

The DC Circuit Court reversed an earlier decision allowing CFPB’s unaccountable structure to remain.

On Wednesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier three-judge panel ruling and declared that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional. The CFPB is a creation of Democrats’ Dodd-Frank financial regulation following the 2008 crisis that they also created.

Expressing the majority opinion Judge Cornelia Pillard wrote, “Congress’s decision to provide the CFPB director a degree of insulation reflects its permissible judgment that civil regulation of consumer financial protection should be kept one step removed from political winds and presidential will.” In the earlier court ruling Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that “other than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government, at least when measured in terms of unilateral power.” Which was why there was such a fight for control of the CFPB after previous director Richard Courdray stepped down.

Currently, Mick Mulvaney is heading the sometimes-rogue agency, and he has done much in seeking to limit and cut back on its overreach. That said, a permanent fix is needed. As Iain Murray, vice president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute states, “This outrage to the spirit of the Constitution needs to be corrected by the Supreme Court and by Congress, which made the original mistake in giving the CFPB so much power with so little accountability.” The CFPB isn’t even bound by budgetary restrictions, but “obtains its funding on demand from the Federal Reserve,” notes The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal also writes that this case is “ripe for the Supreme Court” and describes the dubious ruling as the DC Circuit majority doing a “bob and weave through Supreme Court precedents like a gardener dodging thorny bushes to find the CFPB constitutional.” In her dissenting opinion, Judge Karen Henderson argued that the entire CFPB should be eliminated and “let the Congress decide whether to resuscitate — and, if so, how to restructure — the CFPB.” The Supreme Court needs to hear this case and end the CFPB’s rogue status.

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