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SCOTUS: CFPB Unconstitutional - "Very Definition of Tyranny"

October 10, 2018


WASHINGTON, DC:  Southeastern Legal Foundation today filed an important amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on separation of powers and core constitutional limits on government authority – a case in which then-U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Judge Brett Kavanaugh held that the Constitution does not authorize unlimited power for the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB), later reversed by an en banc decision.


Current CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney has argued that the CFPB has accumulated too much power and “fits the very definition of tyranny,” a "Frankenstein" without meaningful oversight – a uniquely constitutional critique of a federal agency by its head.


Joined by the NFIB Small Business Legal Center and Cato Institute, SLF’s brief supporting the position held by now-Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh points out that the D.C. Circuit’s decision was flawed by allowing an independent agency unfettered authority unlike any other agency.


A single director with virtually unlimited authority heads the CFPB. But in creating the CFPB, Congress purposely chose to remove any safeguards that would make sure the director was accountable to the people – the Director is not accountable to Congress because he unilaterally controls the Bureau’s budget, nor is he accountable to the President because the President’s authority to remove the Director is limited. Unless the President can remove the Director at-will, or the Bureau’s structure is reworked to provide accountability and restraint, the CFPB must be struck down as an unconstitutionally structured agency.


Click here for Supreme Court brief

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