The U.S. House of Representatives has filed an Amicus Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Seila Law LLC V. Consumer Protection Bureau. According to the brief, the House of Representatives believes that the case has no bearing on the constitutionality of the Bureau, and as such, the Supreme Court should resolve this case without deciding on the constitutionality of the Bureau.
In the case, Seila Law alleges that the structure of the agency grants too much power to its director. According to court papers, given the CFPB’s broad law enforcement powers, the fact that the president may only remove the director of the CFPB “for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office” is unconstitutional. In May, the CFPB beat Seila Law before a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Following the brief, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters released statements regarding the Amicus Brief, addressing the Bureau’s constitutionality.
According to Speaker Pelosi, the Bureau’s independence is “essential.”
“Led by Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Democrats will continue to be vigilant in ensuring the Administration respects the independence of the Consumer Bureau so that it can continue its mission to protect American families against reckless and predatory practices in the financial marketplace, and strengthen the economic security of all,” Speaker Pelosi stated.
Chairwoman waters echoed Pelosi, defending the Bureau’s position.
“I applaud Speaker Pelosi for her commitment to ensuring that the Consumer Bureau can serve as a strong independent regulator to protect hardworking American consumers,” she said.
The Supreme Court will be hearing the case of Seila Law LLC V. Consumer Protection Bureau on March 3, 2020.
According to American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Peter J. Wallison, there is more at stake than just the constitutionality of the Bureau.
On Real Clear Politics, Wallison argues that this CFPB case is an example of Congress enacting “broadly phrased laws, essentially delegating the key legislative choices to administrative agencies and violating the Framers’ constitutional plan of separation.”
As Wallison says, “the president has the power through the appointment and removal of executive officials to carry out the policies he was elected to pursue.”