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  • 03.17.17

Trump’s Justice Department is now challenging the CFPB’s right to exist

Congress designed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be an independent watchdog, going so far as to protect the bureau’s director from presidential interference. But that arrangement is not to the liking of President Donald Trump, who would very much like to see current director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, ushered out the door. 

Today the Justice Department entered the fray, squaring off against the CFPB on Trump’s behalf by filing a friend-of-the court brief in a case that concerns the bureau’s unusual governance structure. Because the bureau is an executive agency, the argument goes, its director’s ability to depart from presidential policy violates the Constitution with regard to separation of powers.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a vocal Trump critic, spearheaded the creation of the CFPB in response to the 2008 financial crisis. 

Oral arguments in the case, which sits before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will take place May 24. AH