Today, the U.S. Court of appeals in Washington DC, no less, basically agreed with Trump when they pretty much declared the CFPB, at least in how it operates today, as UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
For those who like history, or to just better understand the constitution and how and why it was formed and why historical rulings in years gone by now have influenced todays decision, please read the first couple pages of this 110 page court document as its interesting to see why and how todays decision came about.
Here is a summary of the judicial highlights:
“No independent agency, exercising substantial executive authority has ever been headed by a single person, until now.”
Originally intended by then Professor, now Senator Elizabeth Warren to be headed by a committee, Congress changed the CFPB to be headed by one person. (Oops).
“Other than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government, at least when measured in terms of unilateral power.”
What about the Speaker of the House, you might ask? The Speaker can pass legislation only if 218 Members agree.
The Senate Majority Leader? The Leader needs 60 Senators to invoke cloture, and needs a majority of Senators (usually 51 Senators or 50 plus the Vice President) to approve a law or nomination.
The Chief Justice? The Chief Justice must obtain four other Justices’ votes for his or her position to prevail.
The Chair of the Federal Reserve? The Chair needs the approval of a majority of the Federal Reserve Board.
The Secretary of Defense? “The Secretary is supervised and directed by the President. On any decision, the Secretary must do as the President says. So too with the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General.”
Those are strong words, and its surprising they have taken this long to be said by a judge, but considering the CFPB’s bully tactics are so scary no one wanted to go against them, there really wasn’t an opportunity for it to get this far until Mortgage Lender PHH Corporation appealed a $103 million dollar add-on to a $6m fine a judge imposed against them for allegedly taking kick backs.
So what does this mean, immediately not a whole lot. The CFPB continues to operate, but now it operates under the President’s guidance as is the case with the DOJ, The Dept of the Treasury, etc. but now the President can remove the director, which Congress had prevented from happening when it set up the CFPB to be run by a single director not under the Presidents control. So, now the President becomes accountable for the CFPB, and I guess the political question is do you want Hillary or Donald responsible for the CFPB and its leader, former five-time undefeated Jeopardy Champion Richard Cordray? (Fact check that).