News Release

Supreme Court agrees to hear case about limits of executive power

Can Congress limit the president’s ability to fire the director of the CFPB?

Washington -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Constitution allows the president to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) only for cause. The court’s decision to hear the case comes more than a year after President Donald Trump installed Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney (currently also acting chief of staff) as the acting director of the CFPB, then nominated Kathy Kraninger, a person with limited consumer protection experience, to replace Mulvaney. Kraninger was confirmed in December 2018.

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, Lisa Donner from Americans for Financial Reform and Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG released the following statements:

"The CFPB was created as a strong, independent agency with a director who could only be removed for cause so the Bureau could counter the entrenched political power of the financial industry. Seila Law, a debt collection law firm, just like the payday lenders and others on Wall Street, wants that independence undermined to make it easier for them to take advantage of consumers without facing consequences. The court should not side with the financial industry over the public interest,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform.

"We are also disappointed that CFPB director Kathy Kraninger threw her lot in with the Trump Administration and co-signed a brief from the Solicitor General opposing the bureau's constitutionality. How can she do her one job, protecting consumers, when she doesn't agree with the independence of her agency from politics?" said Ed Mierzwinski, Senior Director for Federal Consumer Programs, U.S. PIRG.

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Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) is an unprecedented group of national and state organizations that have joined together to fix our financial sector and make sure it is working for all Americans.

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. U.S. PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network. The Public Interest Network runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.

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