CFPB dings D.C. Circuit’s decision in PHH Corporation v. CFPB

In a case in federal district court in North Dakota, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed this brief about the D.C. Circuit's decision in PHH Corporation v. CFPB and said this:

In considering a separation-of-powers challenge to the Bureau’s structure, the PHH panel announced a new constitutional rule that agencies must be structured as multimember commissions if their heads are removable only “for cause” rather than at the will of the president. This principle has no basis in the text of the Constitution or in Supreme Court case law. Instead, the panel based its decision on (a) the lack of sufficient historical precedent for the Bureau’s structure, and (b) a policy judgment that multimember commissions are superior to single agency heads. The panel did not—and could not—conclude that the Bureau’s structure either aggrandizes the legislative branch or diminishes the president’s ability to direct the operations of the executive branch, beyond what the Supreme Court approved in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935) (approving “for cause” removal protections for FTC heads). Slip op. at 55–59. The panel decision was wrongly decided and is not likely to withstand further review. (emphasis added)

For more on the PHH decision, go here, here, here, and here.

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