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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

9th Circuit reaffirms order enforcing Seila CID

Courts Ninth Circuit Appellate CFPB Seila Law Single-Director Structure


On December 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed a district court’s order granting the CFPB’s petition seeking to enforce a civil investigative demand (CID) sent to Seila Law. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Bureau filed a supplemental brief arguing that the formal ratifications of then-Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and current Director Kathy Kraninger, paired with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Seila v. CFPB, are sufficient for the appellate court to enforce the CID previously issued against the law firm, and that “[s]etting aside the CID at this point would serve no valid purpose.” In reaffirming the order, the appellate court wrote that “Director Kraninger’s ratification remedied any constitutional injury that Seila Law may have suffered due to the manner in which the CFPB was originally structured. Seila Law’s only cognizable injury arose from the fact that the agency issued the CID and pursued its enforcement while headed by a Director who was improperly insulated from the President’s removal authority. Any concerns that Seila Law might have had about being subjected to investigation without adequate presidential oversight and control had now been resolved. A Director well aware that she may be removed by the President at will had ratified her predecessors’ earlier decisions to issue and enforce the CID.” The 9th Circuit also rejected Seila Law’s argument that the ratification occurred outside the limitations period for bringing an enforcement action against the law firm, determining that the “statutory  limitations period pertains solely to the bringing of an enforcement action, which the CFPB had not yet commenced against Seila Law.”