The seeds sewn by President Trump may be bearing fruit as his agenda to transform federal bureaucracy via the Supreme Court takes effect. In 2018, the Trump administration made clear it would appoint Justices to the Supreme Court that would hold federal agencies to account and cut back on red tape.
When the Court resumed a nine-month term in October, three crucial cases were waiting, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America. This case could threaten the existence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), founded in 2010 to prevent “unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.”
The opposing party is an industry group representing payday lenders and arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutionally funded because it is resourced by the Federal Reserve rather than annually through Congress. If the Court rules in favor of the lenders, the agency will be defunded.
In a second case, the Justices will decide whether to curtail the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission and remove its ability to enforce penalties for securities violations. In the Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy case, Mr. George Jarkesy argues that the SEC’s 2011 investigation into his business affairs breached his Seventh Amendment Constitutional rights.
Finally, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo will ask the Court to overturn a 1984 ruling that gave federal agencies the right to interpret legislation when the exact wording of a statute was disputed or unclear.
President Trump took a unique approach to selecting Supreme Court Justices, and Justice Neil Gorsuch was appointed partly due to his prior criticisms of the 1984 ruling at the heart of the Raimondo case. Trump’s potential selectees were all questioned about their attitudes toward federal agencies and bureaucracy before their appointments, something previous Presidents have never done.
White House attorney Don McGahn said in 2018 that there was “a coherent plan” to make judicial selection and deregulation “the flip side of the same coin.”