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Presidential Issues: Judiciary


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A Limited Victory for Limited Government as CFPB’s Structure Ruled Unconstitutional

By Eric Boehm

A federal court ruling that says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is "structurally unconstitutional" won't stop the powerful federal regulatory agency from carrying out its agenda, but it's a small victory for limited government nonetheless.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday said the CFBP's unelected and largely unaccountable director must have more oversight from the president, a decision that echoes one major concern that has been raised by libertarians and conservatives since before the bureau was created in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB is a major element of that law, which was passed in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse and gave the government broad powers to regulate financial institutions.

In the ruling, a three judge panel took issue with the virtually unlimited power vested with the director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray.

"The Director enjoys significantly more unilateral power than any single member of any other independent agency," wrote judge Brett Kavanaugh in the unanimous opinion. "Indeed, 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," by which the court said it mean "power that is unchecked by the President or other colleagues."

Read the full article at Reason.com: A Limited Victory for Limited Government as CFPB's Structure Ruled Unconstitutional

Issue Categories : Judiciary, Regulations