News Release: Supreme Court Signals Gravity of Fifth Circuit Ruling by Taking CFPB Case


Feb. 27, 2023

William Pierre-Louis, Jr.
(347) 499-7874

Supreme Court Signals Gravity of Fifth Circuit Ruling by Taking CFPB Case

Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case in which the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals attacked the funding mechanism of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recognizes that the lower court has produced a decision threatening consumers, honest businesses, and the financial system itself.

“Thankfully, the Supreme Court appears to appreciate the gravity of this case and what it means not only for the CFPB, but for the Federal Reserve, consumers and overall financial stability,” said Elyse Hicks, consumer policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform. “The Fifth Circuit’s decision has no basis in the Constitution or established jurisprudence, and we hope the justices overturn it as soon as possible.”

Since the Fifth Circuit declared the CFPB’s funding unconstitutional in October, a broad coalition of organizations has come together to defend the work of the 12-year-old agency. Since its creation, the CFPB has worked tirelessly to protect consumers from financial abuse, delivering relief of $13.5 billion to up to 175 million people.

“A broad coalition of organizations came together over a decade ago to support the creation of the CFPB,” said Kimberly Fountain, consumer financial justice organizer for Americans for Financial Reform. “That same set of groups, and more, is ready to defend the CFPB from legal and political attacks so it can continue to do its excellent work.”

From returning money to consumers, fighting discrimination in lending, helping regular people find the best bank for their needs, providing tools to get the best loans, ensuring that prepaid cards are cheaper, cracking on junk and overdraft fees, and protecting seniors from scams and costly mistakes, the agency’s work has been efficient and critical for consumers.

Under the 2010 law that Congress enacted, the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB draws its funding from the Federal Reserve. The Fifth Circuit wrongly concluded that this structure violates the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A memo on the decision can be found here.