“Unconstitutionally structured.” A “gross departure from settled historical practice.”
That’s how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently described the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the rogue federal agency led by Director Richard Cordray. The appellate court ruled that Director Cordray, who was appointed by the Obama administration, possesses too much power since he can only be fired by the president and for just cause. As U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh argues, the CFPB’s structure “poses a far greater risk of arbitrary decision making and abuse of power, and a far greater threat to individual liberty, than does a multi-member independent agency.”
Addressing this concern, the court voided the CFPB’s for-cause provision, making Director Cordray removable by the president at any time and for any reason. It also threw out a CFPB decision imposing a $109 million penalty on PHH Corporation, a mortgage servicing company. The CFPB claimed that the company referred customers to insurers who then purchased reinsurance from a PHH subsidiary—an alleged kickback scheme. Yet the appellate court found that the CFPB overstepped its bounds in issuing the penalty.
Just more of the same from America’s most unaccountable bureaucrats.