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United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
April 12, 2016, Argued; October 11, 2016, Decided
[**104] [*5] Kavanaugh, Circuit Judge:
Introduction and Summary
This is a case about executive power and individual liberty. The U.S. Government's executive power to enforce federal law against private citizens — for example, to bring criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions — is essential to societal order and progress, but simultaneously a grave threat to individual liberty.
The Framers understood that threat to individual liberty. When designing the executive power, the Framers first separated the executive power from [***3] the legislative and judicial powers. "The declared purpose of separating and dividing the powers of government, of course, was to 'diffus[e] power the better to secure liberty.'" Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714, 721, 106 S. Ct. 3181, 92 L. Ed. 2d 583 (1986) (quoting Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635, 72 S. Ct. 863, 96 L. Ed. 1153, 62 Ohio Law Abs. 417 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring)). To ensure accountability for the exercise of executive power, and help safeguard liberty, ] the Framers then lodged full responsibility for the executive power in the President of the United States, who is elected by and accountable to the people. The text of Article II provides quite simply: "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." U.S. CONST. art. II, § 1. And Article II assigns the President alone the authority and responsibility to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Id. § 3. As Justice Scalia explained: "The purpose of the separation and equilibration of powers in general, and of the unitary Executive in particular, was not merely to assure effective government but to preserve individual freedom." Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 727, 108 S. Ct. 2597, 101 L. Ed. 2d 569 (1988) (Scalia, J., dissenting).
Of course, the President executes the laws with the assistance of subordinate executive officers who are appointed by the President, often with the advice and consent of the Senate. To carry out the executive power and be accountable for [***4] the exercise of that power, the President must be able to control subordinate officers in executive agencies. In its landmark decision in Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 47 S. Ct. 21, 71 L. Ed. 160 (1926), authored by Chief Justice and former President Taft, the Supreme Court therefore recognized the President's Article II authority to supervise, direct, and remove at will subordinate officers in the Executive Branch.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
839 F.3d 1 *; 426 U.S. App. D.C. 100 **; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18332 ***; Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) P99,434; 2016 WL 5898801
PHH CORPORATION, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, RESPONDENT
Subsequent History: Vacated by, Rehearing, en banc, granted by PHH Corp. v. Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2733 (D.C. Cir., Feb. 16, 2017)
Reinstated by, in part, Review granted by, in part, Review denied by, in part, Remanded by PHH Corp. v. Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau, 881 F.3d 75, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2336 (D.C. Cir., Jan. 31, 2018)
Prior History: [***1] On Petition for Review of an Order of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (CFPB File 2014-CFPB-0002).
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