Three State AGs Join Challenge to Dodd-Frank Act and CFPB Appointment

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On September 20, the Attorneys General (AGs) of Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Carolina joined an earlier-filed lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenges aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act, including the CFPB and its director. The AGs joined an amended complaint that seeks to challenge as unconstitutional the “formation and operation” of the CFPB, and that argues the President side-stepped constitutional checks and balances by refusing to submit his nominee for CFPB Director to the Senate. The AGs also charge that the “orderly liquidation authority” (OLA) for financial institutions provided to the Treasury Secretary by the Dodd-Frank Act violates the separation of powers doctrine, as well as the Fifth Amendment’s bar against the taking of property without due process. The AGs cite their state pension funds—each of which is invested in “a variety of institutions” subject to the OLA—as their basis for standing, claiming that the OLA exposes the states and their funds to “the risk that their credit holdings could be arbitrarily and discriminatorily extinguished.” Finally, the private plaintiffs that originally filed the suit also contest based on a separation of powers argument the “unconstitutional creation” of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.