CFPB Files Cert Petition Requesting Expedited Review of Fifth Circuit Decision Finding Funding Structure Unconstitutional

As discussed here, on October 19, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) funding mechanism violates the appropriations clause because the CFPB does not receive its funding from annual congressional appropriations like most executive agencies, but instead receives funding directly from the Federal Reserve based on a request by the CFPB’s director. Yesterday, the CFPB filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting not only that the Court hear the case, but also that it be decided on an expedited basis during the Court’s current term. Given the importance of the decision and the gravity of the potential implications, the Court may well take the unusual step of granting the petition and agreeing to the requested expedited schedule.

Highlights From the Petition

In its petition, the CFPB argues that the Fifth Circuit erred in holding that the CFPB’s funding through the Federal Reserve unconstitutionally insulates it from congressional oversight and appropriations. In support of its position, the CFPB points to the fact that the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB director to regularly submit reports to and make appearances before Congress to justify the CFPB’s budget requests. The comptroller general also must conduct annual financial audits of the CFPB and submit annual reports to Congress.

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