Will the U.S. Supreme Court Stop the Federal Financial Protection Racket?

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case challenging the federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency, CNBC reports. A California law firm “alleges that the structure of the agency grants too much power to its director, in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.”

The CFPB director can be removed only for inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is already on record that, aside from the President of the United States, the CFPB boss is the most powerful person in the federal government. As the report recalls, the bureau is “a regulatory agency established in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis,” but there’s a bit more to it.

As we noted in 2012, the CFPB was created during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, not a good time to expand government. The agency was based on the assumption that even informed consumers were unable to look out for themselves. The bureau duplicated the work of other agencies and was funded by the Federal Reserve, which is obviously improper.

The CFPB has no board to oversee its affairs and is not accountable to Congress. The director, a presidential appointee, basically calls all the shots. The agency has survived several court challenges, and last May a panel of the 9th Circuit rejected the case that the Supreme Court will now decide.

CNBC also notes the role of “consumer advocate” Elizabeth Warren in creating the CFPB, which “has formed a central pillar of her presidential bid.”

In the recent CNN presidential debate, Warren’s fellow Democrats challenged her to reveal whether her massive spending projects would require a tax hike on the middle class. She wouldn’t say, and that might prompt taxpayers to wonder if the CFPB was the groundwork for more government control of the economy, just as Obamacare was a signpost on the highway to government monopoly health care. When it comes to expanding government, it’s always one step forward, then another step forward, with seldom, if ever, a step backward.

Meanwhile, both sides in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will address whether the CFPB can remain, even if its structure is found unconstitutional. If the high court gives the agency an existential problem, that would be a huge victory for taxpayers and advocates of limited government. A ruling is expected by late June.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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