An Ohio think tank filed an amicus brief Tuesday in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to rein in the power of the consumer watchdog agency once headed by Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray.
In the case, plaintiffs argue that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by former President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), is essentially a rogue agency accountable to none of the three branches of government.
That would make the CFPB unconstitutional on its face, argue the plaintiffs in State National Bank of Big Spring v. Mnuchinurging.
The Columbus-based Buckeye Institute filed a brief in support of that argument.
Buckeye points out that because of certain regulations handed down by CFPB, many low-income African-Americans and Hispanics are steered into government-backed mortgages that actually cost more than conventional loans. [See pages 16-17 of Buckeye’s amicus brief]
Buckeye Institute further argues that the structure of the CFPB violates the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. It also allows unelected government officials to usurp the power of the states and their elected officials.
Cordray became the CFPB’s first director in January 2012. He ran the agency for six years before resigning on Nov. 24, 2017. Two weeks later he announced his run for Ohio governor, and is now facing off against Republican Mike DeWine.
“As we outlined in our brief, the power that the CFPB director holds is perhaps the most extreme example of administrative independence to date, and that power is relatively unchecked by presidential or congressional oversight,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute.
“Once confirmed, the CFPB director answers to essentially no one and is free from any meaningful form of democratic accountability by which the states or their citizens might hold him or her accountable,” Alt said. “This much unaccountable power in the hands of one individual is a clear violation of the separation of powers and it must be reined in.”
The CFPB was the brainchild of far-left Warren, who remains a close friend of Cordray’s. In fact, Cordray was in Washington, D.C. Wednesday with his mentor.
State National Bank of Big Spring v. Mnuchin was initially filed in June 2012 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the 60 Plus Association and State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, on the grounds that “the structure of the CFPB violates the Constitution’s separation of powers because the agency is insulated against meaningful checks by the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.”
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.