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Supreme Court majority seems skeptical of challenge to consumer watchdog

The Washington Post

A majority of Supreme Court justices on Tuesday seemed skeptical of a broad challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would undermine the existence of the watchdog agency created by Congress 12 years ago.

As attorneys for both sides presented oral arguments, the court’s three liberal justices seemed dismayed at a lower-court ruling that said the funding mechanism Congress adopted to ensure the CFPB’s independence violated the Constitution. Some conservative justices who are normally suspicious of the power of federal agencies also voiced concerns, wondering if the challenge went too far.

“I get your point that this is different, that it’s unique, that it’s odd, that [Congress has] never gone this far,” Justice Clarence Thomas said to lawyer Noel J. Francisco, who was defending the challenge. “But that’s … not a constitutional problem.”

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