In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court preserved the Consumer Finance Protection Board, but ruled that its director can be removed for any reason by the president. The five conservative justices deemed it unconstitutional that the agency’s director could only be “fired for cause.” The CFPB was dreamed up by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and created in 2010 to protect consumers in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It’s been attacked by Republicans and the financial industry ever since, with accusations that its leader had too much authority. The Monday decision sided with a California-based law firm that argued the agency’s structure was in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers rule.
“The agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will,” Roberts wrote.