Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, alongside 24 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit decision that threatens the future operation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the viability of more than 10 years of the agency’s regulatory and enforcement actions.
In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., the 5th Circuit concluded the agency’s operations violate the U.S. Constitution’s Appropriations Clause because the CFPB does not receive an annual appropriation from Congress and is instead funded through the Federal Reserve. Raoul and the coalition urge the Supreme Court in the brief to reverse the decision because the 5th Circuit’s decision will jeopardize the beneficial consumer protection and regulatory actions taken by the CFPB.
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a critical watchdog for consumers,” Raoul said. “Consumers will ultimately pay the price if the CFPB’s oversight is threatened. I urge the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure consumer protection is not jeopardized.”
The CFPB was established to create nationwide consumer protection standards and to work with, and supplement, individual state agencies. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress established the CFPB to play a critical role in the stability of key sectors of the financial market and protect consumers against unfair and abusive business practices.
Since its establishment, the CFPB has created and enforced nationwide consumer financial standards in areas ranging from mortgage lending requirements to debt-collection practices. Additionally, many CFPB regulations target financial sectors where individual states may face challenges in regulating fraudulent and abusive practices.
Raoul and the coalition note that if the appellate court decision takes effect, it could drastically restrict consumer protection efforts in their states and would harm millions of Americans. The 5th Circuit had invalidated a prior regulation issued by the CFPB, after concluding that the CFPB’s funding was unconstitutional. Raoul and the coalition caution that this approach, if adopted by the Supreme Court, could result in the invalidation of numerous CFPB rules and other regulatory actions. That result could harm millions of consumers around the country, while destabilizing the consumer financial sector. The amicus brief urges this result is not mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.