Nessel joins suit to preserve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 23 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to save a key consumer protection agency.

    They argue that the U.S Supreme Court should preserve consumer protections provided under Title X of the 2010 federal Dodd-Frank Act, which includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other tools states use to combat fraud and abusive practices.

    Attorney General Dana Nessel | Susan J. Demas

    “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was specifically designed to provide consumers with information to make sound financial decisions,” said Nessel. “My colleagues and I cannot sit idly by when there is a threat against essential consumer protections.”

    The AGs argue that the case would “gut” Title X. They highlight how the states have worked cooperatively with the CFPB to root out fraud and abusive consumer practices in the market, including joint enforcement actions and information sharing.

    In 2017, the CFPB began an investigation into the California law firm Seila Law for its debt-relief practices. Seila Law attempted to block the investigation, arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured because the director may only be terminated by the president for insufficient office conduct. According to Seila Law, this removal provision infringes on the president’s executive power and violates the Constitution’s separation of powers clause.

    The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit both rejected Seila Law’s arguments and upheld the constitutionality of the CFPB. Seila Law has now appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, again arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutional and that all of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act must be struck down.

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    Under the President Trump administration, the CFPB has changed its position and now agrees with Seila Law that the removal provision violates the separation of powers clause, although the agency argues that the rest of Title X can survive even if the provision is invalid.

    In their brief, the attorneys general argue that the CFPB’s structure is constitutional and that — even if the removal provision is invalid — the CFPB and the rest of Title X should survive.

    Other states involved are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.