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Rutledge: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Unconstitutional


March 13, 2017

Says, ‘I have seen firsthand the unworkable relationship this agency currently presents to the States’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is arguing that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional and that Director Richard Cordray should be subject to political appointment.

“Having met with Director Cordray last year and expressed my concerns over many sweeping regulations, I have seen firsthand the unworkable relationship this agency currently presents to the states,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “A prior panel found the CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, and I hope that the full circuit will do the same and find that Director Cordray should be accountable to the President of the United States.”

The CFPB was created during the Obama Administration and exercises far-reaching regulatory authority over the financial-services industry, including community banks. In October 2016, a panel of the D.C. Circuit found that the CFPB violates the Constitution’s separation of powers because the agency is headed by a single director not accountable to any elected official and who can be removed under only extraordinary circumstances.

In February, the full court of appeals agreed to rehear the case en banc.

In the brief, the attorneys general write, “The CFPB’s novel governance structure vests control of the agency in a single director who is not accountable to any elected officials. Thus, the CFPB’s action is not constrained by the ‘political safeguards of federalism,’ which the Supreme Court has treated as an essential mechanism for preserving the role of the States within the federal system.”

Led by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, Rutledge is joined on the brief by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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