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Today's NLRB Decision Casts a Shadow over the CFPB

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As Ted Frank pointed out earlier, today's decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board has far-reaching implications. The court, in the process of vacating a decision of the NLRB, found that the recess appointments of three of the NLRB's members were invalid. The NLRB's chairman issued a statement explaining that the order applies only to the particular case and expressing an intent to move forward with the NLRB's other matters. Despite his pledge to continue business as usual, the case has important implications for the full range of actions by the NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Richard Cordray, the CFPB's director was recess appointed on the same day--January 4, 2012--and in the same manner as the three NLRB appointees. The Senate did not consent to Mr. Cordray's appointment and, in fact, many Senators voiced strong concern that, once in the job, the director would be unaccountable to anyone. Particularly because Dodd-Frank placed an extraordinary amount of power in the CFPB director, today's decision also calls into question the validity of the CFPB's actions. Neither the NLRB nor the CFPB should assume it is business as usual.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.