The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Constitutionality Upheld on Appeal

Nearly five years ago, Harry Reid wanted to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with lefties who would approve of all kinds of expansive and expensive government. He got his way, and a recently decided case shows how that has worked out.

The case involved the infamous Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. CFPB (Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild) was meant to be politically independent. It wouldn’t get its money from congressional appropriations, but instead through a demand presented to the Federal Reserve system. And its director would not serve at the pleasure of the president like other agency heads. CFPB was set up to be a law unto itself — but that is not what the Founders had in mind. They wanted and the Constitution demands, accountability.

In a case filed by a company that CFPB had trashed, the constitutionality of the agency was at issue. A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit initially held it to be unconstitutional, but on appeal, the court sitting en banc said, “No problem.”

I write about this disturbing development in this Forbes essay.

Harry Reid may be laughing now, but I think there’s a good chance the Supreme Court will take the case on appeal and wipe the smile off his face. Federal lawlessness has to be stopped.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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