Trump’s DOJ Urges Supreme Court to Keep CFPB Up and Running - ABI

Facing an existential threat at the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments on March 3 in a constitutional challenge to the unusual structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the CFPB has found an unlikely champion. The Trump administration believes that the bureau's lone director is unconstitutionally shielded from accountability to the president, yet the Justice Department’s final brief before oral argument urged the Supreme Court not to issue a ruling that will halt the CFPB’s “critical work," Reuters reported. “The bureau,” DOJ argued in a reply brief filed on Friday, “is the federal government’s only agency solely dedicated to consumer financial protection.” Invalidating the entire statute that created the CFPB, DOJ said, will wreak havoc not just for consumers but for the banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and other financial institutions regulated by the CFPB. The government even cited the billions of dollars CFPB has recovered in enforcement actions as proof of its crucial mission. The California debt relief firm that brought the CFPB case to the Supreme Court, meanwhile, continued to argue in its final brief that if the Supreme Court deems the CFPB’s structure to be a violation of separation of powers doctrine, the justices must either strike down the entire Consumer Financial Protection Act or else leave it to Congress to fix the problem. The case is Seila Law v. CFPB, 19-7.

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