The following policy dive is courtesy of Dentons50 partner Jim O’Brien
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen this week marshaled a group of 16 other attorneys general in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), filing a motion to intervene in a federal appeals case considering the agency’s constitutionality.
The case–PHH Corporation, et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–is currently before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In an October 2016 ruling, a divided court found the structure of the CFPB unconstitutional. The CFPB filed a petition for rehearing of the decision, and that petition is currently pending before the court. To this point, the Obama administration had vigorously defended the CFPB in the appeal.
In today’s motion to intervene in the litigation, the attorneys general argue that they have a vital interest in defending an independent and effective CFPB. They have used their authority to bring civil actions in coordination with the CFPB to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive and abusive financial practices. They argue that the court’s ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine the power of state attorneys general to effectively protect consumers against abuse in the consumer finance industry, and significantly lessen the ability of the CFPB to withstand political pressure and act effectively and independently of the President.