Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

591 U.S. 207, 140 S. Ct. 2183 (2020)

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Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

United States Supreme Court
591 U.S. 207, 140 S. Ct. 2183 (2020)

  • Written by Jack Newell, JD
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Facts

After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (plaintiff). Congress gave the CFPB broad powers to implement a large body of consumer-protection law. Unlike other independent agencies, which were typically headed by multimember boards, the CFPB had a single director appointed by the president with the Senate’s consent. Once appointed, a director had a five-year term and could be removed by the president only for cause. Additionally, the CFPB was funded directly by the Federal Reserve rather than by congressional appropriations. The CFPB issued law firm Seila Law (defendant) a demand to produce certain evidence for a CFPB investigation. Seila Law refused to comply, claiming that the CFPB did not have authority because the agency’s structure violated the Constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine. The CFPB petitioned to enforce its investigative demand. The district court found that the CFPB’s structure was constitutional, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed. Seila Law appealed to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Kagan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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