In this article, Zoe Tillman describes an oral argument today in the D.C. Circuit involving a challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus's structure. Specifically, the challengers say that Congress gave the CFPB's director too much power and independence. Tillman says that the D.C. Circuit appears to agree with the challengers:
A federal appeals panel in Washington on Tuesday appeared ready to disrupt the organizational structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which vests power in the hands of a single director. During arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a challenge to the constitutionality of the consumer agency, the question appeared to be not whether the judges would alter the bureau’s structure, but rather how much. The judges pressed the bureau’s lawyer to defend the novelty of the CFPB’s structure and why it didn’t violate separation of powers. A single director heads the bureau, and the president’s ability to remove the director is limited. It is “very dangerous in our system” to vest so much power in one person, Judge Brett Kavanaugh said during arguments. The three-judge panel could declare the bureau’s structure unconstitutional in its entirety, or the judges could chip away at a smaller piece—by expanding the president’s authority to remove the director, for instance.