Last summer, I was practically giddy at the prospect of a Texas bank and some free-enterprise groups mounting a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. They argued that Consumer Financial “Protection” Bureau — created by that esteemed law whose ostensible purpose is to regulate the oh-so-greedy financial industry but whose actual purpose is to cover the federal government’s behind for their driving role in the financial crisis — was being granted an unprecedented amount of unchecked regulatory authority. Eleven states ended up joining in on the suit, hoping that they could help in the effort to get the frighteningly complex and powerful law a little judicial attention.
Most unfortunately, a federal judge granted the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss the entire suit against the financial regulation overhaul last week, via Bloomberg:
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington ruled in yesterday’s decision that the states and the State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, didn’t have legal standing to bring their claims. She also said they “did not come close” to showing they would suffer financial injury as a result of the overhaul. …
The plaintiffs claimed the law establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violates the U.S. Constitution because Congress doesn’t appropriate its budget, the president has limited powers to remove its director and the courts face restrictions in reviewing its actions. …
C. Boyden Gray, lead attorney for the plaintiffs called the ruling “deeply flawed.”
“State National Bank of Big Spring is a community bank that has served its community for generations, and it is disturbing that the opinion — and the government — ignored the very real harm Dodd-Frank has inflicted on it and the customers who rely on the bank to provide loans for everything from their home to their small business,” Gray said.
Part of the reason for the big holdup over confirming President Obama’s executive nominees in the Senate was Republicans’ hope that they could manage to finagle some checks on the CFPB’s terrifying huge amount of power, like appropriations from Congress and a bipartisan board instead of a single director. Nothing doing, though, and while the Texas bank, et al have said that they’ll appeal the ruling, the Dodd-Frank rulemaking and all of its economically damaging dogma are already well underway.