President Trump today announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has served as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006.
As a D.C. Circuit judge, Kavanaugh has ruled in numerous cases related to regulatory matters and administrative law. In 2016, he authored an opinion in PHH Mortgage v. CFPB that found the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s leadership structure — a single powerful director who cannot be removed at will by the president — to be unconstitutional.
“The CFPB’s concentration of enormous executive power in a single, unaccountable, unchecked Director not only departs from settled historical practice, but also poses a far greater risk of arbitrary decision-making and abuse of power, and a far greater threat to individual liberty, than does a multi-member independent agency,” Kavanaugh wrote in the opinion, which was later reversed by the full D.C. Circuit before the case was dismissed earlier this year.