Along with a number of Democratic lawmakers, 10 consumer groups have filed an amicus brief supporting the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its case before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
And while I’m not a lawyer, I think you have to admire the audacity in the brief, which, in the table of contents, includes a section entitled, “The panel’s decision is wrong.”
The 10 groups include The Center for Responsible Lending, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, and the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.
In the brief, the groups take the court’s decision in PHH Mortgage v. CFPB, in which the Appeals Court ruled that a single director leadership structure is unconstitutional, out to the woodshed. The CFPB has appealed that ruling and the case will now be heard before the entire D.C. Court of Appeals. The original case was argued before a three-judge panel.
The panel’s sweeping and unprecedented opinion in this case reaches out to declare Congress’s design unconstitutional. If left standing, the panel’s opinion will threaten the CFPB’s ability to protect consumers and imperil Congress’s goal of creating a regulator free of undue industry influence.
The ruling, which will allow the president to remove the director of the CFPB for any reason, instead of only being allowed to remove him for cause, as was the case, essentially undermines Congress’s goal of “structuring the CFPB to effectively protect consumers, free of undue political influence and industry capture.”