Is Elizabeth Warren's signature achievement (the CFPB) unconstitutional?

Was dredging through old topics, and wanted to (belatedly) bump this one with an update.

The court found for Seila Law in June of 2020, ruling that preventing the President from firing the Director of the CFPB at will violates the separation of powers. “The agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will.”


How is this different than the President not being able to fire the Postmaster General at will – or at all?

There are actually nine “governors” of the Post Office, and it is them who chose the Postmaster General. Basically a board of directors and a CEO, as opposed to the CFPB which as a single director. It is legally unclear if this decision has any bearing on multimember commissions. Three justices in the majority expressly limited their holding to agencies with a single director, we just don’t know their opinions in the case of a board of directors.

Biden will have the opportunity to flip the Board of Governors in December anyways, since a Trump appointee’s term expires that month. So I don’t think it’s worth it for Mr. Biden to litigate the constitutionality of firing them at will.


As much as I think DeJoy is doing a horrible job, that was not my point. My point was that Congress can apparently set up an organization with a system under which the President cannot fire the director at will, so it seems strange to say they can’t do so in a different matter.