The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Court ruled as unconstitutional the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has managed to help thousands of users of banks and other institutions to recover their money.
The argument of the judges, all appointed by the former president Donald Trump is that said office, created by the former president Barack Obama creates a problem about the “separation of powers” in the nation.
“Three judges, all appointed by President Trump, have decided to defund that agency that Congress itself had voted for,” Chris Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah and former attorney for that office, warned on NPR.
It highlights that the Court has decided on determinations of the Congress on the office created after the financial crisis of 2008-2009, which led to thousands of people going bankrupt by scams from banks and other institutions that offer credit.
Since its creation, the CFPB has managed to return “billions of dollars to consumers”who had been treated unfairly, says the report.
One of the recent cases was against Regions Bank of Alabama, which must pay $141 million dollars to hundreds of clients to whom illegally charged overdraft fees following a CFPB investigation.
The part that the judges considered unconstitutional is that the agency receives funds from the Federal Reserve.
“Wherever the line is between a constitutionally funded agency and an unconstitutionally funded one, this unprecedented arrangement crosses it,” the justices’ decision reads.
Peterson told NPR that the bank consumer ombudsman isn’t the only agency that doesn’t get its annual funding decided directly by Congress, as the Federal Reserve does as well.
It is possible that the White House, which has not yet ruled on the matter, will take this legal battle to the Supreme Court.
“The CFPB will likely request a stay while it seeks an appeal to the full 5th Circuit…and then probably to the United States Supreme Court after that,” says Peterson.
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