Attorney General Mayes joins coalition in support of consumer protections agency

Arizona Attorney General Mayes joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general to urge the Supreme Court to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB was established after the 2008 recession to assist state regulatory agencies by providing federal consumer standards. The Fifth Circuit recently concluded in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. that the agency violates the U.S. Constitution because it receives its funding from the Federal Reserve outside the appropriations process.

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is responsible for providing American consumers with over $16 billion in monetary relief and has received nearly $4 billion in civil penalties against bad actors as a result of its enforcement actions over the last eleven years," Mayes said on May 17. "Americans count on the CFPB to act as their watchdog and its elimination would significantly impact consumer protection efforts in Arizona."

A majority of the active Fifth Circuit judges must vote in favor for there to be a rehearing. The circuit has 16 active judges, with 12 nominated by Republican presidents. Seven of the Republican-appointed active judges have already declared support for the circuit's decision.

"Whatever the line between a constitutionally and unconstitutionally funded agency may be, this unprecedented arrangement crosses it," the Fifth Circuit's decision reads.

If the decision becomes final in its current form, the CFPB could only be resurrected by a congressional appropriation. Such a decision also has potential implications for other federal agencies funded outside of the appropriations process, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration.

Mayes filed an amicus brief with the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The predominantly democratic states are led in their efforts by Attorney General Letitia Brown of New York.

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