The Constitutional Case Against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Writing at The Washington Post, George Will makes the case against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal “watchdog” empowered to forbid “unfair, deceptive, or abusive” financial practices. As Will puts it, “judicial dismantling of the CFPB would affirm the rule of law and Congress’s constitutional role.” He explains:

The CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, was installed by one of Barack Obama’s spurious recess appointmentswhen the Senate was not in recess. Vitiating the Senate’s power to advise and consent to presidential appointments is congruent with the CFPB’s general lawlessness.

The CFPB nullifies Congress’s power to use the power of the purse to control bureaucracies because its funding — “determined by the director” — comes not from congressional appropriations but from the Federal Reserve. Untethered from all three branches of government, unlike anything created since 1789, the CFPB is uniquely sovereign: The president appoints the director for a five-year term — he can stay indefinitely, if no successor is confirmed — and the director can be removed, but not for policy reasons....

Like the Independent Payment Advisory Board, Obamacare’s health-care rationing panel, the CFPB embodies progressivism’s authoritarianism — removing much policymaking from elected representatives and entrusting it to unaccountable “experts” exercising an unfettered discretion incompatible with the rule of law.

Read the whole thing here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Tim||

    On the rare chance I might upstage Fist...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We have to stamp out small financial institutions; economies of scale in lobbying demand it.

  • DaveAnthony||

    Alas, the throne lives on without it's Harvard queen.

  • Jerryskids||

    It's much worse than just the CFPB - it is hard for me to see how all administrative law isn't an un-Constitutional delegation of authority. Just because the EPA or the IRS or OSHA or whoever calls them rules and regulations rather than laws and the penalties for violating them tend to be civil rather than criminal penalties doesn't change the fact that we are ruled by bureacrats rather than politicians.

    But when the President decides executive orders and secret tribunals are just as legitimate as courts and legislatures - and the courts and legislatures go along with him - is it any wonder that his minions begin to think the concept of roi est au-dessus des lois applies to them as well? And to the extent that nobody resists, they are right.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Poor Holly Petraeus. First her husband embarrasses her. Now George Will is after her sinecure.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement