CFPB Constitutionality at the Supreme Court: A Case Study on Agency Independence in a Pandemic in Seila Law
It feels like only yesterday that we were discussing PHH Corp. v. CFPB, the seminal 2018 U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit case that led to the first decision that upheld the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Now that the Bureau has faced the truest test of its constitutionality in the U.S. Supreme Court’s favorable ruling in Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (“Seila Law” or “case”) one question remains: what comes next? As the federal government, including the Bureau, responds to serious challenges ranging from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to the aftermath of whistleblower complaints, each day presents new questions regarding the proper function and role of government and agency independence.
Against this backdrop, and with the Bureau’s ten-year constitutional crisis now behind it, we take a look back at Seila Law, discuss the Bureau’s future, and consider the larger bifurcated federal government trajectory toward a strong unitary executive.