Supreme Court Declines to Hear CFPB's Structure Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied certiorari to a lawsuit challenging the single-director structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). CUNA and the state leagues have been advocating on Capitol Hill for a commission structure at the CFPB to ensure long term continuity and stability in its policymaking.

The lawsuit argued that the Dodd-Frank Act effectively gives "unbounded power to the CFPB," that far exceeds what is allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year upheld the Bureau's constitutionality in another case brought by PHH Corp. However, there continues to be challenges in other courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is tentatively scheduled to hear oral arguments March 11 for a challenge to the Bureau's constitutionality brought by defendants accused by the Bureau in 2016 of engaging in unfair payday lending conduct, and a federal judge in New York – months after the D.C. Circuit's decision –  ruled the Bureau's structure unconstitutional.

A similar case, the Fifth Circuit in July determined that the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) structure, which is also single director, is unconstitutional.