The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has announced that:
The State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, today filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to hear its case challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Competitive Enterprise Institute and the 60 Plus Association are also joining this community bank as plaintiffs in the same action, requesting the Court to invalidate the law because of the unprecedented, unchecked power it gives the government. ...
According to the complaint, there are no effective checks and balances to assure the public of accountability. Most importantly:
- Congress exercises no “power of the purse” over the CFPB, because the agency’s budget – administered essentially by one person – comes from the Federal Reserve, amounting to approximately $400 million that Congress cannot touch or regulate.
- The President cannot carry out his constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” because the President cannot remove the CFPB Director except under limited circumstances.
- Judicial review of the CFPB’s actions is limited, because Dodd-Frank requires the courts to give extra deference to the CFPB’s legal interpretations.
- The plaintiffs claim in their suit that Dodd-Frank gives an agency of unelected government bureaucrats unrestrained power. They argue this unaccountable power over the daily lives of the American people results in a lack of public accountability, creating a power grab over every U.S. citizen.
“As a whole, Dodd-Frank aggregates the power of all three branches of government in one unelected, unsupervised and unaccountable bureaucrat,” said former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray, attorney for the plaintiffs and founder of Boyden Gray & Associates. ...
The complaint is here. The Federalist Society has put together a web page with links to lots of key documents, including an essay by Boyden Gray that formed the foundation for the law suit. Gray also co-authored a WSJ op-ed on the lawsuit.
These are many of the same guys the guys that won the suit claiming that the PCAOB's lack of accountability to executive branch violated the Constitution. As far as I can tell from a quick glance, their arguments here seem even stronger. The Democrats who wrote Dodd-Frank were determined to insulate these agencies from oversight, presumably out of fear that future GOP Presidents and/or Congresses might actually want to constrain the agencies' powers. But our Constitution doesn't work that way.