Rule of Law

RELEASE: CFPB Decision is Victory for Consumers, Backed by Constitutional Text and History

WASHINGTON, DC – Following today’s decision at the Supreme Court in CFPB v. CFSA, a case in which the Court was considering whether Congress’s chosen method of funding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, Constitutional Accountability Center Deputy Chief Counsel Brian Frazelle issued the following reaction:

Today’s decision upholding the funding structure of the CFPB is a big win for consumers, allowing the agency to continue fighting for everyday Americans just as Congress intended.

This victory is not surprising: advocates for predatory lenders challenging the Bureau failed to provide a coherent explanation of why its funding violated the Constitution, nor could they square their claims with the text or history of the Appropriations Clause, or with legislation dating to the founding. In fact, as our brief on behalf of historians and constitutional scholars emphasized, the nation’s very first federal agency was funded much like the CFPB. Justice Thomas’s opinion for the Court relied on this and similar examples we cited in upholding the Bureau’s funding.

The Court’s decision is in keeping with the text and history of the Appropriations Clause. Ultimately, that Clause was adopted to give Congress a check on executive branch spending, not to let judges dictate how Congress exercises that power. By upholding the balance of power the Framers established—and rightly rejecting the absurd arguments against the CFPB—the Supreme Court delivered a win for the separation of powers and rejected an attempt to aggrandize the power of the courts.



Case page in CFPB v. CFSA: