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Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Constitutionality of CFPB Structure

On March 3, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection BureauKannon Shanmugam of Paul, Weiss argued on behalf of Seila Law that the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional because it is led by a single director who is appointed by the president for a five-year term and may be removed only for cause. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued on behalf of the CFPB, agreeing with Seila Law that the agency’s structure is unconstitutional but disagreeing on the remedy. The CFPB urged the Court to sever the for-cause provision from the remainder of the statute creating the CFPB, while Seila Law argued that the Court need not reach the question of severability in this case and that, if it did reach that question, the for-cause provision should not be severed from the remainder of the statute. Paul Clement argued as court-appointed amicus that the CFPB’s structure is constitutional, and Doug Letter argued on behalf of the House of Representatives, participating as an amicus supporting affirmance. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision by June 2020.

March 3, 2020

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