BC Law Professor Patricia McCoy is one of three senior financial regulation scholars to author an Amicus Curiae Brief in the US Supreme Court case Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The case was brought by Seila Law, a California law firm challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB. Supporters of both the case and the idea that the CFPB has too much power have argued that the president should be allowed to remove a CFPB director for any reason; currently, the director can only be fired for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” CFPB supporters argue that there is a longstanding tradition of checks to presidential power through independent agencies such as the CFPB, and that its director is treated the same way as officers at these other agencies.
In their brief, the co-authors argue that “novelty is not a constitutional enemy of the administrative state, but a constitutional invitation that Congress has accepted for over two centuries.” In addition to McCoy, the brief was co-authored by Peter Conti-Brown, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Adam Levitin, a law professor at Georgetown Law School.
McCoy, a nationally prominent scholar in financial services regulation, helped form the CFPB when she worked at the US Department of the Treasury in 2010-11, and, as the CFPB’s first assistant director for mortgage markets, oversaw the Bureau’s mortgage policy initiatives. She teaches insurance law as well as banking regulation and a full array of other financial services regulatory courses.
McCoy’s research interests focus on the nexus between financial products, consumer welfare, and systemic risk, analyzed through the lens of law, economics, and empirical methods. In A Tale of Three Markets: The Law and Economics of Predatory Lending in the Texas Law Review in 2002, McCoy was among the first to raise alarms about the dangers of subprime loans. She has three books to her credit, the most recent being The Subprime Virus with Kathleen Engel, published by Oxford University Press. McCoy has testified before Congress and been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post and on National Public Radio. Previously, Professor McCoy was a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Economics Department and served on the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Advisory Council and on the board of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association. In 2012, the American Law Institute named her as an Adviser to the Third Restatement on Consumer Contracts. She currently sits on the Insurance Policy Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, and on the Advisory Board for the Rappaport Center for Law & Public Policy at BC Law.
Read more on the Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau case in American Banker (subscription required).