Supreme Court Assigns Defender of the CFPB

Oct 30, 2019News

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed Paul Clement to defend the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Seila Law v. CFPB. 

Normally, the Department of Justice would defend the CFPB in a case such as this, but the Trump Administration submitted an amicus brief several months ago urging the Supreme Court to take up the case, arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured. The brief also pointed out that CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger had recently “reached the same conclusion.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to appoint Clement is somewhat surprising for those monitoring the case. Clement is a former U.S. solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration who has argued before the Supreme Court nearly 100 times. Despite his substantial experience, Clement has primarily defended conservative positions, including for such policies as same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act. 

It is not yet known how Clement was chosen for this high-profile position. The Supreme Court is expected to begin oral arguments in early 2020. 

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