Democratic Attorneys General to Supreme Court: Dodd-Frank Is Constitutional and Necessary (With, or Even Without, CFPB)


  • Twenty-four Democratic AGs, led by New York AG Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Seila Law, LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, No. 19-7, arguing that Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which established the CFPB, withstands constitutional scrutiny.
  • In the case, petitioner Seila Law, LLC challenged a CFPB investigation into its practices on the basis that the CFPB’s structure, in which the CFPB’s director can be removed only for cause, is unconstitutional. According to the petitioner, the removal provision impinges on executive powers, thereby violation of separation of powers principles, and that the unconstitutionality of that provision renders the entire Title unconstitutional.
  • In their brief, the AGs argue, among other things, that even if the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional, that provision is severable from the rest of Title X because of the explicit severability clause included in the Dodd-Frank Act. The AGs further argue that even if the CFPB were found to be unconstitutional and not severable, the other provisions of Title X should still be preserved because they provide powerful tools that states use to combat financial fraud and abuse, and therefore, striking down Title X in its entirety would cause great injury to the states.