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- Peter Wallison, Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Members of the Federalist Society’s Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group Executive Committee provided an update on recent important activity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Recent developments included the results of the CFPB's arbitration study, the suspension of credit card agreement submission to the CFPB, new criticism of the CFPB's mortgage rate tool, and new payday lending rules.
One of the Federal Trade Commission’s key duties is to protect consumers from deceptive advertising. The FTC does this, in part, by ensuring that advertisers can substantiate their claims. While executing this duty, the FTC generally seeks to prevent consumer harm while maximizing the amount of useful information available to consumers. Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen believes that, in some cases over the past several years, the FTC has required a heightened level of substantiation, thereby reducing the useful information available to consumers. In a recent decision, POM Wonderful, the D.C. Circuit offered additional guidance on striking the proper balance, echoing themes that Commissioner Ohlhausen has raised in debates with her colleagues at the FTC. Commissioner Ohlhausen discussed this and other recent cases and how the FTC should address deceptive advertising in the future.
On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Wellness Int’l Network, Limited v. Sharif, which presents two questions. The first is whether a bankruptcy court has power under Article I of the Constitution to determine, where an issue of state property law is involved, that property in the debtor’s possession belongs to the bankruptcy estate. The second question is whether, notwithstanding the limits of Article I authority, the consent of litigants can permit a bankruptcy court to exercise Article III judicial power--and if so, whether a litigant's continued participation in litigation can constitute implied consent.
To discuss the case, we have Thomas Plank, who is the Joel A. Katz Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law.