The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a Texas bank’s constitutional challenge to the structure of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing up a case that could have led to more presidential power over an independent agency that President Donald Trump’s administration already has weakened.
The decision by the justices not to hear an appeal by State National Bank of Big Spring may not be the final word on the matter as three other cases involving the CFPB are heading toward the high court.
At issue was whether the CFPB’s sole director possesses too much power in violation of the authority the U.S. Constitution gives a president to appoint and remove certain federal officials. A ruling in favor of the bank could have allowed a president to fire the agency’s director for any reason.
The CFPB, a consumer watchdog agency often criticized by conservatives and Trump’s fellow Republicans, was established in 2011 under legislation signed by former President Barack Obama that was passed by a Congress controlled by Obama’s fellow Democrats to crack down on predatory financial practices after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
“The case raises constitutional issues of major importance regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that wields massive power over the economic activities of the public and sets a dangerous precedent for unaccountable federal bureaucracy,” said Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative group involved in the challenge.
Democrats have said the agency plays a critical role in protecting consumers.
The Texas bank’s challenge was delayed in reaching the justices because it was put on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dealt with a case involving mortgage servicer PHH Corp that had raised the same issues.
Only eight of the nine justices on the court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority, participated in the decision to hear the case. Trump’s appointee Brett Kavanaugh recused himself, most likely because he took part in an earlier ruling in the case before joining the high court last October.
The agency was set up under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Since then, there have been efforts by Republicans and the financial industry to undercut its authority, driven by concerns about its powers over a wide array of financial products and its structure.
The Trump administration has shelved several rules and aggressively curtailed the agency’s enforcement.
Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham
Race to remember Berlin Wall victims, 30 years on
Where guard towers and barbed wire once stood, runners pounded the 100-mile (160 kilometer) path along the former Berlin Wall this weekend in a race with victims of the Cold War relic at its heart.
On Saturday at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), around 500 runners, started the 8th edition of the Berlin Wall Race, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Wall's demise this November.
With weary legs, most runners will jog through Saturday night, aiming to reach the city centre stadium which doubles as both start and finish, in the early hours of Sunday.
The race is part ultra-marathon, part tribute to those who died trying to cross the Wall, which the East German communist regime hastily erected in 1961 and stood for 28 years.
Suspect behind NYC subway bomb scare arrested after being found unconscious in the Bronx: report
On Saturday, CNN's New York correspondent Polo Sandoval reported that a suspect wanted for placing suspicious rice cookers in New York City subway stations has been arrested after being found unconscious at an address in the Bronx.
"Less than 24 hours it took the NYPD to track down this man in relation to the scare that took place here in New York City," said Sandoval. "A source close to the investigation saying that the individual that they were trying to track down to speak to was apparently placed into custody at about 2AM This morning. He was found unconscious in the Bronx here in New York. He is currently hospitalized."
It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies
We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.
In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.