(USA Features) The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Monday involving a legal challenge to a federal financial agency that was the brainchild of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren that critics say is unconstitutional.
The high court will hear a case involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a 1,500-person agency with the power to regulate financial institutions like banks but also smaller businesses without any oversight from Congress.
The agency was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms following the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009.
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in its present form escapes the separation of powers enumerated in the Constitution and holds power to destroy businesses at will,” the Daily Wire noted Saturday.
According to The Hill, the agency is empowered to prescribe rules and regulations using a plethora of consumer protection laws. Also, it can determine on its own what constitutes “fair” and “unfair” or “abusive” business practices.
In addition, the CFPB can impose legal remedies and decide what constitutes a just settlement between parties. Worse, critics argue, the law authorizing the creation of the board, which was developed by Warren, puts it beyond the oversight of Congress, which critics say is a violation of the Constitution.
The Pacific Legal Foundation asked in a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Seila Law v. CFPB, “Whether the vesting of legislative, executive, and judicial powers in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent agency led by a single director who cannot be removed except for cause, violates the separation of powers.”
“This case presents the Court with a unique and dangerous concentration of the federal government’s legislative, executive, and judicial powers in a single, ‘independent’ agency; an agency headed by a lone ‘Director’ empowered with vast executive discretion but protected from removal except for cause; an agency whose actions enjoy an unprecedented freedom from oversight by the government’s constitutionally vested powers,” the brief continued.
“The combination of authority, discretion, and impunity in this independent power all but guarantees arbitrary governance. This is, therefore, ‘a case about executive power and individual liberty,'” the brief continued.
Warren defended the CFPB in 2017, calling it “the little agency that could” and noting it had already fielded over 1 million complaints.