The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a constitutional challenge to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a watchdog agency whose existence is largely credited to Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The bureau is arranged to insulate its employees and funding streams from political pressure and ensure its independence from big banks and financial institutions. At issue in Friday’s dispute is a provision forbidding the president from removing the bureau’s director except for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.”
Though the Department of Justice (DOJ) generally defends federal laws as a matter of course, the Trump administration told the justices that for-cause removal restriction on the president’s power violates the constitutional separation of powers.
“Vesting such power in a single person not answerable to the president represents a stark departure from the Constitution’s framework,” the Trump administration told the justices in court filings. More