Progressive Groups Demand Kavanaugh’s Recusal When SCOTUS Hears CFPB Constitutionality Case
With the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) soon to be argued before the United States Supreme Court, a group of progressive organizations—including Demand Justice, Demand Progress Education Fund, the Revolving Door Project, and Allied Progress—are calling on Justice Brett Kavanaugh to recuse himself from the case. As a federal appeals court judge, Kavanaugh wrote that the CFPB’s structure was unconstitutional in two separate opinions, prompting the recusal demands.
“The law clearly states that judges should recuse themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” the groups wrote in a statement. “[He] has already ruled on the underlying legal question in this case. He cannot plausibly claim to be open to arguments from both sides,”
In a 2016 opinion, Kavanaugh wrote that the “concentration of massive, unchecked power in a single Director marks a dramatic departure from settled historical practice and makes the CFPB unique among independent agencies.”
Kavanaugh also penned a dissent in 2018 restating his opinion about the bureau’s structure in PHH Corp. v. CFPB. He told the Senate that it established one of the most important constitutional opinions of his career.
As an Associate Justice, Kavanaugh is not subject to the same code of conduct as lower courts, but justices tend not to vote if they have previously been involved directly with the case. Federal law prohibits justices from hearing cases if their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”