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Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
United States Supreme Court
140 S.Ct. 2183 (2020)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (plaintiff) was created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Its primary function was to implement a large body of consumer-protection law. The structure of the agency was different from any agency in existence. It had a single director who was appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. That director served for a five-year period and could only be removed by the president for cause. Additionally, it was funded directly by the Federal Reserve rather than by appropriations from Congress. The CFPB issued Seila Law (defendant) an investigative demand to produce evidence related to possible illegal business practices. Seila Law refused, claiming that the CFPB did not have the authority to issue orders because its structure violated the separation-of-powers doctrine under the Constitution. The CFPB filed a petition in court to enforce the order. The lower courts found that the structure of the CFPB was valid. Seila Law appealed to the Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)
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