The Federalist Society

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010: Is It Constitutional?

Engage Volume 11, Issue 3

November 16, 2010

C. Boyden Gray, John Shu

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010: Is It Constitutional?There has been much debate over whether Dodd-Frank will accomplish its stated intent "[t]o promote the financial stability of the United States ..., to end 'too big to fail,' to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts," and "to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices," but there is also a growing exchange about whether the law is constitutionally infirm, primarily due to separation of powers, vagueness, and due process concerns. Central to this discussion is the fact that Dodd-Frank grants bureaucracies broad and unchallengeable discretionary authority. In this article, which will be included in Volume 11, Issue 3 of The Federalist Society journal Engage, the authors query whether the Act provides effective oversight by any branch of government—the President, Congress, or the Judiciary.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. By publishing this paper, which challenges the Act on several grounds, mostly constitutional, The Federalist Society seeks to foster further discussion and debate about this Act. To this end, we have included links to relevant materials that take diff erent legal and policy positions on the Act. We do not link to other constitutional positions because this discussion is in too early a stage; as the conversation progresses we will link to those constitutional arguments. As always, The Federalist Society welcomes your responses to these materials. To join the debate, you can e-mail us at info@fed-soc.org.

Related Links

Text of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Testimony of Michael Calhoun, Center for Responsible Lending, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Sept. 30, 2009
Testimony of Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Oct. 1, 2009
Testimony of Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Oct. 29, 2009
Testimony of Sheila C. Blair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Oct. 29, 2009
Testimony of Peter J. Wallison, American Enterprise Institute, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Oct. 29, 2009
Statement of Senator Chris Dodd, Opening Senate Banking Committee Markup of Financial Reform Legislation, Nov. 19, 2009
Testimony of Prof. Todd J. Zywicki, George Mason University School of Law, Before the House Committee on Financial Services, Feb. 26, 2010
C. Boyden Gray, Op-Ed, No Checks, No Balance in Reform Law, Wash. Times, Sept. 14, 2010

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act of 2010: Is It Constitutional?  


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