U.S. Supreme Court gives president more power over consumer financial agency

The Supreme Court has refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. The executions would

"While the President has full confidence in the current director of the CFPB and believes that she has fully upheld her statutory duties, the President also believes that no official should hold such enormous powers without, at least, being directly accountable to a democratically-elected President regardless of party affiliation", White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnancy said in a statement following the ruling.

The justices, by a 5-4 vote, said Congress violated the president's constitutional authority over the executive branch when it established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a director appointed by the president for a five-year term, but who could not be fired except for a specific cause, such as "neglect of duty or malfeasance in office".

The CFPB was the brainchild of MA senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, stopped short of the much more drastic solution of invalidating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency that was the brainchild of MA senator Elizabeth Warren and was set up in 2011 under Democratic former president Barack Obama. But, she said that even after the ruling the CFPB is "still an independent agency".

We therefore hold that the structure of the CFPB violates the separation of powers.

While the decision does not impact the current CFPB director, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2018, it bolsters the president's ability to exert control over the agency.

The Trump administration declined to defend the CFPB and agreed with legal challengers who argued its structure was unlawful, abandoning the legal position of the Obama administration.

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"In practice, the CFPB was created to prevent the American people, to the maximum extent possible, from exercising oversight over CFPB's sole director, who was granted vast authority over the financial lives of every American", she said.

"This fundamental textual and historical error about "all" is the basis of the "exclusivist" unitary executive argument against the congressional and Manhattan DA subpoenas for Trump's tax returns. Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling changes that", Warren wrote.

Warren first proposed a CFPB-like agency - created to crack down on predatory practices in the mortgage, loan, and credit card industries - as a Harvard Law School professor in a 2007 journal article.

Despite the shift in CFPB policy, consumers should still file complaints with the agency, says Christina Tetreault, financial policy manager for Consumer Reports.

In the wake of the ruling Monday, some liberal allies pointed out another, perhaps ironic silver lining of the conservative court's decision, should Democrats win in the November presidential election.

Kathy Kraninger, the current chief of the CFPB, has said she believed the president could fire her at any time. If former Vice President Joe Biden is elected as president, he would be free to fire Kraninger and replace her. "Under the previous structure he would have had to wait until 2023".

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