Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Assn. of America, Ltd., 601 U.S. ___ (2024) (2024)

  • Opinion(Thomas)
  • Concurrence(Kagan)
  • Concurrence(Jackson)
  • Dissent(Alito)

NOTICE: This opinion is subject toformal revision before publication in the United States Reports.Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, SupremeCourt of the United States, Washington, D.C. 20543,pio@supremecourt.gov, of any typographical or other formalerrors.SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES_________________No. 22–448_________________CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, et al.,PETITIONERS v. COMMUNITY FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION OFAMERICA, LIMITED, et al.on writ of certiorari to the united statescourt of appeals for the fifth circuit[May 16, 2024]Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of theCourt.Our Constitution gives Congress control over thepublic fisc, but it specifies that its control must be exercised ina specific manner. The Appropriations Clause commands that “[n]oMoney shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence ofAppropriations made by Law.” Art. I, §9, cl.7. For mostfederal agencies, Congress provides funding on an annual basis.This annual process forces them to regularly implore Congress tofund their operations for the next year. The Consumer FinancialProtection Bureau is different. The Bureau does not have topetition for funds each year. Instead, Congress authorized theBureau to draw from the Federal Reserve System the amount itsDirector deems “reasonably necessary to carry out” the Bureau’sduties, subject only to an inflation-adjusted cap. 124Stat. 1975,12 U.S.C. §§5497(a)(1), (2). In this case, we mustdecide the narrow question whether this funding mechanism complieswith the Appropriations Clause. We hold that it does.IACongress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall StreetReform and Consumer Protection Act in response to the 2008financial crisis. 124Stat. 1376. The Act created an independentfinancial regulator within the Federal Reserve System known as theBureau of Consumer Financial Protection. 12 U.S.C.§5491(a). Congress charged the Bureau with enforcing consumerfinancial protection laws to ensure “that all consumers have accessto markets for consumer financial products and services and thatmarkets for consumer financial products and services are fair,transparent, and competitive.” §5511(a). The Act consolidated inthe Bureau the authority to administer 18 existing consumerprotection statutes, among them the Fair Debt Collection PracticesAct, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Home MortgageDisclosure Act of 1975. §§5512(a), 5481(12), (14). Additionally,the Act made it unlawful for those offering consumer financialproducts and services “to engage in any unfair, deceptive, orabusive act or practice.” §5536(a)(1)(B). Congress vested theBureau with rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudicatory authorityover the statutes that it administers. See §§5531(a)–(b),5581(a)(1)(A), (b) (rulemaking authority); §§5562–5565 (enforcementand adjudicatory authority).In addition to vesting the Bureau with sweepingauthority, Congress shielded the Bureau from the influence of thepolitical branches. To insulate the Bureau from the President’scontrol, Congress put a single Director with a 5-year term at theBureau’s helm and made the Director removable only forinefficiency, neglect, or malfeasance. §§5491(b)–(c). This Courtheld in Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau, 591 U.S. 197 (2020), that the combination ofsingle-Director leadership and for-cause removal protectionunconstitutionally circ*mscribed the President’s ability to overseethe Executive Branch. Id., at 208.This case involves another one of the Bureau’snovel structural features, one that limits Congress’ control.Congress supplies most federal agencies with the funds necessaryfor their operations only on an annual basis, so those agenciesmust ask Congress for renewed funding each year. For the Bureau,however, Congress diminished this accountability by providing theBureau a standing source of funding outside the ordinary annualappropriations process. Each year, the Bureau may requisition fromthe earnings of the Federal Reserve System “the amount determinedby the [Bureau’s] Director to be reasonably necessary to carry out”its duties, subject only to a statutory cap. §5497(a)(1). TheBureau cannot request more than 12 percent of the Federal ReserveSystem’s total operating expenses as reported in fiscal year 2009(adjusted for inflation). §§5497(a)(2)(A)–(B). In fiscal year 2022,that cap was about $734 million. See Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau, Financial Report of the Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau 7 (Fiscal year 2022). The Bureau can also retain and investunused funds from year to year, though the Director must take intoaccount any surplus when requesting additional funds. §§5497(a)(1),(b)(3), (c).BIn 2017, the Bureau promulgated a regulationfocused on high-interest consumer loans. See Payday, Vehicle Title,and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans, 12 CFR pt. 1041 (2018)(Payday Lending Rule). Among other things, the regulation restrictslenders’ ability to obtain loan payments through preauthorizedaccount access after two unsuccessful withdrawal attempts.Ibid. The Community Financial Services Association ofAmerica and Consumer Service Alliance of Texas, trade associationsthat represent payday lenders and credit-access businesses,challenged the Payday Lending Rule on statutory and constitutionalgrounds. In the operative complaint, the associations argued, amongother things, that the Bureau “takes federal government moneywithout an appropriations act” in violation of the AppropriationsClause. Amended Complaint in No. 1:18–cv–00295 (WD Tex.), ECF Doc.76, p. 30.The District Court granted summary judgment tothe Bureau. As relevant, the court explained that “[t]heAppropriations Clause ‘means simply that no money can be paid outof the Treasury unless it has been appropriated by an act ofCongress.’” 558 F.Supp. 3d 350, 364 (WD Tex. 2021)(quoting Office of Personnel Management v. Richmond,496 U.S.414, 424 (1990)). And, because “a statute authorizes” thedisbursem*nts from the Federal Reserve System’s combined earningsto the Bureau “up to a certain cap,” the District Court concluded,“there is no Appropriations Clause issue.” 558 F.Supp. 3d, at364. On appeal, the associations renewed their argument that the“Bureau’s funding mechanism usurps Congress’s role in theappropriation of federal funds” by allowing it to take “federalmoney without an appropriations act.” Brief for Appellants in No.21–50826 (CA5), p. 28.The Court of Appeals agreed with this argumentand reversed. 51 F.4th 616 (CA5 2022). Drawing on theConstitution’s text and history, the court concluded that theAppropriations Clause “does more than reinforce Congress’s powerover fiscal matters; it affirmatively obligates Congress to usethat authority ‘to maintain the boundaries between the branches andpreserve individual liberty from the encroachments of executivepower.’” Id., at 637 (quoting Consumer FinancialProtection Bureau v. All Am. Check Cashing, Inc., 33F.4th 218, 231 (CA5 2022) (en banc) (Jones, J., concurring)).By giving the Bureau a “self-actualizing, perpetual fundingmechanism,” the court reasoned, Congress in effect abandoned thisobligation. 51 F. 4th, at 638–639. It was not enough that Congressenacted the law authorizing the Bureau’s funding because a “lawalone does not suffice—an appropriation is required.”Id., at 640. The court thus held that the Bureau’s fundingmechanism violates the Appropriations Clause. Id., at642.We granted certiorari to address the narrowquestion whether the statute that provides funding to the Bureauviolates the Appropriations Clause. 598 U.S. ___ (2023). Wenow reverse.IIUnder the Appropriations Clause, anappropriation is simply a law that authorizes expenditures from aspecified source of public money for designated purposes. Thestatute that provides the Bureau’s funding meets theserequirements. We therefore conclude that the Bureau’s fundingmechanism does not violate the Appropriations Clause.AThe Appropriations Clause provides that “[n]oMoney shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence ofAppropriations made by Law.” Art. I, §9, cl.7. Textually, thecommand is unmistakable—“no money can be paid out of the Treasuryunless it has been appropriated by an act of Congress.”Cincinnati Soap Co. v. United States, 301 U.S.308, 321 (1937). Our decisions have long given theAppropriations Clause this straightforward reading. See,e.g., Office of Personnel Management, 496 U.S.,at 424 (“Money may be paid out only through an appropriation madeby law; in other words, the payment of money from the Treasury mustbe authorized by a statute”); Reeside v. Walker, 11How. 272, 291 (1851) (“However much money may be in the Treasury atany one time, not a dollar of it can be used in the payment of anything not ... previously sanctioned” through anappropriation made by Congress).As a threshold matter, the parties agree thatthe Bureau’s funding must comply with the Appropriations Clause.The Appropriations Clause applies to money “drawn from theTreasury.” Art. I, §9, cl.7. The Bureau draws money from theFederal Reserve System. 12 U.S.C. §5497(a)(1). And,surplus funds in the Federal Reserve System would otherwise bedeposited into the general fund of the Treasury. §289(a)(3)(B).Whatever the scope of the term “Treasury” in the AppropriationsClause, money otherwise destined for the general fund of theTreasury qualifies. The Bureau’s funding is therefore subject tothe requirements of the Appropriations Clause.The associations’ challenge turns solely onwhether the Bureau’s funding mechanism constitutes an“Appropriatio[n] made by Law.” This question divided the courtsbelow. The District Court concluded that a valid appropriation isnothing more than a statute that “authorizes an agency to receivefunds up to a certain cap.” 558 F. Supp. 3d, at 364; see alsoConsumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Law Offices ofCrystal Moroney, 63 F.4th 174, 181 (CA2 2023). The Courtof Appeals, on the other hand, suggested that appropriations mustalso “meet the Framers’ salutary aims of separating and checkingpowers and preserving accountability to the people.” 51F.4th, at 640. The associations defend this understanding andargue that the statute that provides the Bureau’s fundingundermines these aims by allowing the agency to indefinitely chooseits own level of annual funding, subject only to an illusory cap.That is, the associations contend that the Bureau’s fundingmechanism is too open-ended in duration and amount to satisfy therequirement that there be an “Appropriatio[n] made by Law.”Based on the Constitution’s text, the historyagainst which that text was enacted, and congressional practiceimmediately following ratification, we conclude that appropriationsneed only identify a source of public funds and authorize theexpenditure of those funds for designated purposes to satisfy theAppropriations Clause.1The Constitution’s text requires an“Appropriatio[n] made by Law.” Art. I, §9, cl.7. Our concernis principally with the meaning of the word “appropriation.” TheConstitution’s use of the term “appropriation” in theAppropriations Clause and in other Clauses provides importantcontextual clues about its meaning. To state the obvious, theAppropriations Clause itself makes clear that an appropriation mustauthorize withdrawals from a particular source—the public treasury.It provides that money may be “drawn from the Treasury” only “inConsequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Cl.7. The sectionpreceding the Appropriations Clause further suggests thatappropriations assign funds for specific uses: Congress has thepower to “raise and support Armies,” but subject to the limitationthat “no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longerTerm than two Years.” §8, cl.12.At the time the Constitution was ratified,“appropriation” meant “[t]he act of sequestering, or assigning to aparticular use or person, in exclusion of all others.” 1 N.Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828); seealso 1 J. Ash, The New and Complete Dictionary of the EnglishLanguage (2d ed. 1795) (“[t]he application of something to aparticular use”); 1 S. Johnson, A Dictionary of the EnglishLanguage (6th ed. 1785) (“[t]he application of something to aparticular purpose”); T. Dyche & W. Pardon, A New GeneralEnglish Dictionary (14th ed. 1771) (“the appointing a thing to aparticular use”). In ordinary usage, then, an appropriation ofpublic money would be a law authorizing the expenditure ofparticular funds for specified ends.Taken as a whole, this evidence suggests that,at a minimum, appropriations were understood as a legislative meansof authorizing expenditure from a source of public funds fordesignated purposes.2Pre-founding history supports the conclusionthat an identified source and purpose are all that is required fora valid appropriation. The concept of legislative “appropriations”grew out of the broader struggle for popular control of the pursein England. Throughout the Middle Ages, the King enjoyed near totalfiscal independence. At that time, the King’s revenues came largelyfrom hereditary sources, sometimes called “ordinary” revenues. 1 W.Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 281 (1771)(Commentaries). These ordinary revenues flowed from many sources,including the “rents and profits of the demesne lands of thecrown,” id., at 286, and the fines, forfeitures, and fees“arising from the king’s ordinary courts of justice,” id.,at 289. Because this revenue inhered in the King himself,Parliament had little claim to direct how it was spent. See F.Maitland, The Constitutional History of England 430 (1908)(Maitland).But, when these unencumbered ordinary revenuesdid not satisfy the demands of royal governance, most often duringwartime, the King had to seek what Blackstone called“extraordinary revenue.” Commentaries 306. Extraordinaryrevenues were financed through various forms of taxation andtherefore required parliamentary authorization. Id., at 169,307; see Magna Charta, ch. 12 (1215), in A. Howard, Magna Carta:Text and Commentary 40 (rev. ed. 1998). In granting extraordinaryrevenues, Parliament began exercising an attendant power to specifyhow the Crown used these funds. Maitland 183–184; see also T.Taswell-Langmead, English Constitutional History: From the TeutonicConquest to the Present Time 219, 229 (6th ed. 1905). That is,Parliament “claimed the power to appropriate the supplies grantedto the king.” Maitland 183–184.Conditions in the 17th century shifted thebalance of power toward Parliament. A combination of rising pricesand increasing demands made it so that the King’s ordinary revenuescould not satisfy the costs of royal governance, even in times ofpeace. D. Keir, The Constitutional History of Modern Britain Since1485, pp. 180–181 (6th ed. 1960); P. Einzig, The Control of thePurse 57 (1959). The King’s financial weakness, and Parliament’sincreasing assertiveness in appropriating extraordinary revenues,led to intragovernmental strife. The ensuing power struggleculminated in the Glorious Revolution, in which Parliament strippedaway the remnants of the King’s hereditary revenues and therebysecured supremacy in fiscal matters. Commentaries 306, 333;Maitland 434.Following the Glorious Revolution, Parliament’susual practice was to appropriate government revenue “to particularpurposes more or less narrowly defined.” Id., at 433.Additionally, Parliament began limiting the duration of its revenuegrants. For example, the duties on tonnage and poundage were nolonger granted to the King for life, but only for a term of years.See 2 Wm. & Mary, c. 4, §1 (1690); 6 Wm. & Mary, c. 1, §1(1694); see also D. Gill, The Treasury, 1660–1714, 46 Eng. Hist.Rev. 600, 610 (1931). Limiting the duration of these and otherrevenue grants ensured that the King could not rule withoutParliament. As one historian described it, Parliament made sure“the Crown should be altogether unable to pay its way without anannual meeting of Parliament. ... Every year he and hisMinisters had to come, cap in hand, to the House of Commons, andmore often than not the Commons drove a bargain and exacted aquid pro quo in return for supply.” G. Trevelyan, TheEnglish Revolution 1688–1689, pp. 180–181 (1939).Even with this newfound fiscal supremacy,Parliament did not micromanage every aspect of the King’s finances.Not all post-Glorious Revolution grants of supplies were timelimited. A notable exception involved what came to be known as thecivil list. Despite its established power to limit the duration ofrevenue grants, Parliament deemed it proper to cover the expensesof the King’s household and the civil government by appropriatingrevenue to that purpose for life. Maitland 435–436; see also E.Reitan, The Civil List in Eighteenth-Century British Politics, 9Hist. J. 318, 319 (1966) (Reitan) (explaining that the “Crown wasto meet the costs of the civil government” out of the civil list,including “the fees and salaries of the ministers and many otherpublic officers, the salaries of many of the small fry in variousgovernment departments, the salaries and pensions of judges, thesalaries and allowances of ambassadors and consuls, and themaintenance of buildings for Parliament and the public offices”).And, parliamentary grants of supplies ordinarily gave the Crownbroad discretion regarding how much to spend within an appropriatedsum. Statutes granting money often stated that the Crown couldspend “any Sum not exceeding” a particular amount. See,e.g., 13 Anne, c.18, §69 (1713); 1 Anne,c.6, §130 (1702). These grants were permissive. As Maitlandexplained, “Money is granted to the queen; it is placed at thedisposal of her and her ministers. But she and they are not boundby law to spend it, at least not bound by the Appropriation Act.”Maitland 445. Other parliamentary appropriations acts, however,required that money be spent for particular purposes. See,e.g., 2 Wm. & Mary, c.1, §§35–36 (1690); 3Wm. & Mary, c.5, §§42–43 (1691); see also M. Rappaport,The Selective Nondelegation Doctrine and the Line Item Veto, 76Tulane L.Rev. 265, 327, n.211 (2001) (Rappaport).The appropriations practice in the Colonies andearly state legislatures was much the same. “When called upon togrant supplies,” the lower houses in the colonial assemblies“insisted upon appropriating them in detail.” J. Greene, The Questfor Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern RoyalColonies 1689–1776, p. 88 (1963). Many early state constitutionsvested the legislative body with power over appropriations.Rappaport 332–333. And, in exercising that authority, statelegislative bodies often opted for open-ended, discretionaryappropriations. See, e.g., Act of Mar. 31, 1788, 1787Mass. Acts and Laws ch. 63, p. 657 (“[T]he amount of all dutiescollected by virtue of this Act shall be, and is herebyappropriated to & for the support of the civil government ofthis Commonwealth”); Act of Nov. 17, 1786, 1786 Mass. Acts and Lawsch. 47, p. 117 (appropriating one-third of revenue “for theexigencies of Government”); An act to amend and reduce the severalacts for appropriating the public revenue, into one act, 1784 Va.Acts ch.46, §1, reprinted in 11 W. Hening’s Statutes at Large434 (1823) (“The money arising [from certain taxes] shall form ageneral fund, ten thousand pounds of which per annum shall be atthe disposal of the executive, to defray the contingent charges ofgovernment”); An act to amend the act for appropriating the publicrevenue, 1783 Va. Acts ch.11, §4, reprinted in id., at248 (Half of “all the revenue arising from the tax on free maletithables ... shall be applied ... to thesupport of civil government”); An act for the defence of the bay,and to impose certain duties on imported articles, 1783 Md. Actsch. 26, §5, reprinted in 1 W. Kilty, The Laws of Maryland (1799)(“[A]ll the duties imposed by this act on the trade of this stateshall be appropriated for the defence of the bay and the protectionof trade”).By the time of the Constitutional Convention,the principle of legislative supremacy over fiscal mattersengendered little debate and created no disagreement. It wasuncontroversial that the powers to raise and disburse public moneywould reside in the Legislative Branch. The only disagreement wasabout whether the right to originate taxation and appropriationsbills should rest in a legislative body with proportionaterepresentation. Having reached a tentative agreement on thatdifference, the Committee of Detail reported a draft constitutiongiving the House of Representatives the power to originate allrevenue and appropriations laws. This proposed draft contained theprototype of what later became the Appropriations Clause. Itprovided that “[a]ll bills for raising or appropriating money... shall originate in the House of Representatives,and shall not be altered or amended by the Senate. No money shallbe drawn from the public Treasury, but in pursuance ofappropriations that shall originate in the House ofRepresentatives.” 2 Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, p.178 (M. Farrand ed. 1911). Ultimately, the Convention agreed togrant the House an exclusive power to originate revenue laws butnot for appropriations laws. Compare Art. I, §7, cl.1, with§9, cl. 7.In short, the origins of the AppropriationsClause confirm that appropriations needed to designate particularrevenues for identified purposes. Beyond that, however, earlylegislative bodies exercised a wide range of discretion. Someappropriations required expenditure of a particular amount, whileothers allowed the recipient of the appropriated money to spend upto a cap. Some appropriations were time limited, others were not.And, the specificity with which appropriations designated theobjects of the expenditures varied greatly.3The practice of the First Congress alsoillustrates the source-and-purpose understanding of appropriations.This practice “provides contemporaneous and weighty evidence of theConstitution’s meaning.” Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S.714, 723 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted).Many early appropriations laws made annuallump-sum grants for the Government’s expenses. Congress’ firstannual appropriations law, for instance, divided Governmentexpenditures into four broad categories and authorizeddisbursem*nts up to certain amounts for those purposes. Forexample, the law appropriated a “sum not exceeding two hundred andsixteen thousand dollars for defraying the expenses of the civillist,” which covered most nonmilitary executive officers’ salariesand expenses. Act of Sept. 29, 1789, ch. 23, 1Stat. 95; see 5Papers of Alexander Hamilton 381–388 (H. Syrett & J. Cooke eds.1962) (reporting detailed line-item estimates for civil-listexpenditures). And, it appropriated “a sum not exceeding onehundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars for defraying theexpenses of the department of war.” 1Stat. 95. The law specifiedthat the disbursem*nts would “be paid out of the monies whicharise, either from the requisitions heretofore made upon theseveral states, or from the duties on impost and tonnage.”Ibid. Subsequent annual appropriations laws followed asimilar pattern. See Act of Mar. 26, 1790, ch.4, 1Stat. 104;Act of Feb. 11, 1791, ch.6, 1Stat. 190; Act of Dec. 23, 1791,ch.3, 1Stat. 226.The appropriation of “sums not exceeding” aspecified amount did not by itself mandate that the Executive spendthat amount; as was the case in England, such appropriationsinstead provided the Executive discretion over how much to spend upto a cap. In 1803, for instance, Congress appropriated “a sum notexceeding fifty thousand dollars” to build up to “fifteen gunboats.” Act of Feb. 28, 1803, ch.11, 2Stat. 206. PresidentJefferson subsequently reported, however, that “[t]he sum of fiftythousand dollars appropriated by Congress for providing gun boatsremains unexpended. The favorable and peaceable turn of affairs onthe Mississippi rendered an immediate execution of that lawunnecessary.” 13 Annals of Cong. 14 (1803).Congress took even more flexible approaches toappropriations for several early executive agencies and allowed theagencies to indefinitely fund themselves directly from revenuecollected. Soon after convening, Congress enacted laws that imposeda detailed schedule of duties on imported goods and tonnage. SeeAct of July 4, 1789, ch.2, 1Stat. 24–27 (imposing duties onimported goods, wares, and merchandises); Act of July 20, 1789,ch.3, 1Stat. 27–28 (imposing duties on tonnage). It thendivided the Nation into customs districts and established a vastfederal bureaucracy to oversee the collection of those duties. Actof July 31, 1789, ch.5, 1Stat. 29–49. Rather than fund thosecustoms officials through annual appropriations, Congress opted fora fee-based model. Customs collectors were compensated throughtonnage- and transaction-based fees specified by law, and through acommission on the amount of duties raised within their districts.For example, customs collectors were entitled to collect frommerchants two-and-a-half dollars “for every entrance of any ship orvessel of one hundred tons burthen or upwards” and 20 cents “forevery permit to land goods.” Id., at 44. And, collectors inthe largest ports were paid “half a per centum on the amount of allmonies by them respectively received and paid into the treasury ofthe United States.” Id., at 45. Other customs functionarieswere also compensated on a fee basis. For instance, customscollectors paid weighers 18 cents “out of the revenue” collected“for the measurement of every one hundred bushels of salt orgrain.” Ibid.Congress adopted a similarly open-ended fundingscheme for the Post Office. Instead of appropriating funds on anannual basis, Congress authorized the Postmaster General to “defraythe expense” of carrying the mail of the United States with therevenues generated through postage assessments. Act of Feb. 20,1792, §3, 1Stat. 234. The postal statute also provided thePostmaster General a $2,000 annual salary “to be paid... out of the revenues of the post-office.” §8,id., at 235. And, it authorized the Postmaster General topay deputy postmasters “such commission on the monies arising fromthe postage of letters and packets, as he shall think adequate totheir respective services,” subject to an upper limit. §23,id., at 238. These fee-based funding schemes continued yearafter year without Congress passing an annual appropriation forthese agencies.These fee- and commission-based funding schemeswere not an American innovation; they emulated the colonialprecursors to the Customs Service and Post Office. Colonial customsofficers, for instance, “were paid a percentage of total receiptsin their area, the proportion varying from colony to colonydepending on the estimated potential yield.” T. Barrow, Trade andEmpire: The British Customs Service in Colonial America 1660–1775,p. 14 (1967). Although the customs service in the Colonies latertransitioned to a salary system, each customs “official was allowedcertain fees for almost every transaction.” Id., at 78. And,as to the postal service, the Continental Congress allowedpostmaster deputies 20 percent “on the sums they collect and payinto the General post office annually,” up to $1,000, and 10percent on sums over that amount. 2 Journals of the ContinentalCongress, 1774–1789, p. 208 (W. Ford ed. 1905).Postratification practice therefore confirms ourinterpretation of the Appropriations Clause. Early appropriationsdisplayed significant variety in their structure. Each, however,adhered to the minimum requirements of an identifiable source ofpublic funds and purpose.BThe Bureau’s funding statute contains therequisite features of a congressional appropriation. The statuteauthorizes the Bureau to draw public funds from a particularsource—“the combined earnings of the Federal Reserve System,” in anamount not exceeding an inflation-adjusted cap. 12U.S.C. §§5497(a)(1), (2)(A)–(B). And, it specifies theobjects for which the Bureau can use those funds—to “pay theexpenses of the Bureau in carrying out its duties andresponsibilities.” §5497(c)(1).Further, the Bureau’s funding mechanism fitscomfortably with the First Congress’ appropriations practice. Indesign, the Bureau’s authorization to draw an amount that theDirector deems reasonably necessary to carry out the agency’sresponsibilities, subject to a cap, is similar to the FirstCongress’ lump-sum appropriations. And, the commission- andfee-based appropriations that supplied the Customs Service and PostOffice provided standing authorizations to expend public money inthe same way that the Bureau’s funding mechanism does.For these reasons, we conclude that the statutethat authorizes the Bureau to draw funds from the combined earningsof the Federal Reserve System is an “Appropriatio[n] made by Law.”We therefore hold that the requirements of the AppropriationsClause are satisfied.IIIThe associations make three principalarguments for why the Bureau’s funding mechanism violates theAppropriations Clause, each of which attempts to build additionalrequirements into the meaning of an “Appropriatio[n] made by Law.”None is persuasive.AAt the outset, the associations argue that theBureau’s funding is not “drawn ... in Consequence ofAppropriations made by Law” because the agency, rather thanCongress, decides the amount of annual funding that it draws fromthe Federal Reserve System. This argument proceeds from a mistakenpremise. Congress determined the amount of the Bureau’s annualfunding by imposing a statutory cap. The Bureau’s funding statuteprovides that “the amount that shall be transferred to the Bureauin each fiscal year shall not exceed” 12 percent “of the totaloperating expenses of the Federal Reserve System” as reported in2009 and adjusted for inflation. §5497(a)(2). The only sense inwhich the Bureau decides its own funding, then, is by exercisingits discretion to draw less than the statutory cap. But, as we haveexplained, “sums not exceeding” appropriations, which provided theExecutive with the same discretion, were commonplace immediatelyafter the founding. Supra, at 12–13. Thus, we cannotconclude that Congress violated the Appropriations Clause bypermitting the Bureau to decide how much funding to draw up to acap.BNext, the associations suggest that theBureau’s funding statute is not a valid appropriation because it isnot time limited. On their reading, the Appropriations Clauserequires both Chambers of Congress to periodically agree on anagency’s funding, which ensures that each Chamber reserves thepower to unilaterally block those funding measures throughinaction. The Bureau’s funding mechanism, the associations insist,inverts this baseline by allowing it to draw funds—forever—unlessboth Chambers of Congress step in and affirmatively prevent theagency from doing so.But, the Constitution’s text suggests that, atleast in some circ*mstances, Congress can make standingappropriations. The Constitution expressly provides that “noAppropriation of Money” to support an army “shall be for a longerTerm than two Years.” Art. I, §8, cl.12. Hamilton explainedthat this restriction ensures that, for the army, Congress cannot“vest in the Executive department ... permanent funds”and must instead “once at least in every two years ...deliberate upon the propriety of keeping a military force on foot,”“come to a new resolution on the point,” and “declare their senseof the matter, by a formal vote in the face of their constituents.”The Federalist No. 26, p. 143 (E. Scott ed. 1898). The Framers werethus aware of the dynamic that the associations highlight, but theydid not explicitly limit the duration of appropriations for otherpurposes.The First Congress’ practice confirms thisunderstanding. Recall that the appropriations that supplied fundingto the Customs Service and the Post Office were not time limited.Supra, at 13–14. The associations resist the analogy to thePost Office and other fee-based agencies, arguing that suchagencies do not enjoy the same level of fiscal independence as theBureau. Fee-based agencies, the associations reason, “could notdemand funds from the federal fisc, but rather needed to persuadethe people they served to pay them, and the public could refuse topurchase to influence their conduct.” Brief for Respondents 35. Theassociations, however, make no attempt to explain why thepossibility that the public’s choices could restrain fee-basedagencies’ revenue is relevant to the question whether a lawcomplies with the constitutional imperative that there be anappropriation.CFinally, the associations contend that theBureau’s funding mechanism provides a blueprint for destroying theseparation of powers, and that it invites tyranny by allowing theExecutive to operate free of any meaningful fiscal check. If theBureau’s funding mechanism is consistent with the AppropriationsClause, the associations reason, then Congress could do the samefor any—or every—civilian executive agency. And that, theyconclude, would be the very unification of the sword and purse thatthe Appropriations Clause forbids.The associations err by reducing the power ofthe purse to only the principle expressed in the AppropriationsClause. To be sure, the Appropriations Clause presupposes Congress’powers over the purse. But, its phrasing and location in theConstitution make clear that it is not itself the source of thosepowers. The Appropriations Clause is phrased as a limitation: “NoMoney shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence ofAppropriations made by Law.” Art. I, §9. And, it is placed within asection of other such limitations. Compare ibid. (“No Billof Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed”) andibid. (“No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exportedfrom any State”), with §8 (“The Congress shall have Power To... ”). The associations offer no defensible argumentthat the Appropriations Clause requires more than a law thatauthorizes the disbursem*nt of specified funds for identifiedpurposes. Without such a theory, the associations’ AppropriationsClause challenge must fail. See Haaland v. Brackeen,599 U.S. 255, 277–278 (2023).IVThe dissent’s theory fares no better. Thedissent accepts that the question in this case is ultimately aboutthe meaning of “Appropriations.” Post, at 6. It faults usfor consulting dictionaries to ascertain the original publicmeaning of that word, insisting instead that “Appropriations” is a“term of art whose meaning has been fleshed out by centuries ofhistory.” Ibid. But, as we have explained at length, bothpreratification and postratification appropriations practicesupport our source-and-purpose understanding. Supra, at8–14. What is more, the dissent never offers a competingunderstanding of what the word “Appropriations” means. Afterwinding its way through English, Colonial, and early Americanhistory about the struggle for popular control of the purse, thedissent declares that “the Appropriations Clause demandslegislative control over the source and disposition of the moneyused to finance Government operations and projects.” Post,at 17. The dissent never connects its summary of history back tothe word “Appropriations.” And, even setting that problem aside, itis unclear why the dissent’s theory leads to a different outcome:Congress controls the “source and disposition of the money used tofinance Government operations and projects” by enacting a law thatidentifies the source of public funds and authorizes theexpenditure of those funds for designated purposes.The dissent’s rendition of history largelyignores the historical evidence that bears most directly on themeaning of “Appropriations” at the founding—preratificationappropriations laws. For example, the dissent spends pagesrecounting how Parliament secured fiscal supremacy and wielded thatpower to superintend the King. See post, at 7–11. Althoughthat history is a helpful starting point, see supra, at 8–9,it at most explains why appropriations must be “made by Law”—notwhat it means for the legislature to make an “Appropriation.” Thedissent does not meaningfully grapple with the many parliamentaryappropriations laws that preserved a broad range of fiscaldiscretion for the King. See supra, at 9–10. It makes noattempt to explain “sums not exceeding” appropriations. Seeibid. And, the dissent brushes aside the civil list,asserting that it “‘presented a constitutional problem in theconflict between the principle of the independence of the Crown andthe principle of parliamentary control of finance.’”Post, at 12 (quoting Reitan 320). The problem was that theKing claimed absolute power to use the sums granted in the civillist as he pleased and regularly spent in excess of the allottedamount. See id., at 320, 324–329. But, the dissent neverexplains why the reforms that Parliament adopted in response tothese abuses bear on whether the law establishing the civil listwas an “appropriation.”The dissent’s treatment of early Americanhistory does not advance its point either. It highlights theundisputed point that colonial and state legislative bodiesexercised the power of the purse, post, at 13, whilesidestepping the discretionary and open-ended appropriations theyenacted, supra, at 10–11. The dissent quibbles with theopen-ended appropriations laws that we rely on, speculating thatstate constitutions somehow constrained the breadth of those laws.Post, at 16–17, n. 13. But, the dissent never explains howthese constitutional provisions informed what it meant for statelegislative bodies to make an “appropriation” and, in any event,its critique misses the point: It was commonplace forpreratification appropriations laws to be open-ended in a way thatis not consistent with the specificity that the dissent’s theoryappears to require.When the dissent turns to postratificationhistory, it engages with several appropriations laws enacted by theFirst Congress. The dissent acknowledges, as it must, that the fee-and commission-based funding schemes for the Customs Service andPost Office show that Congress exercised broad discretion over howto appropriate money. Post, at 15–16. To square thesefunding schemes with its understanding of the AppropriationsClause, the dissent points out that Congress required “fees inexcess of what was needed to defray the cost of providing servicesbe turned over to the Treasury.” Post, at 16. Thisrequirement, the dissent reasons, “ensured that Congress maintainedcontrol over the ways in which [the appropriated] money was spent.”Ibid. But, if what matters is that Congress controls howfunds are spent, then we are all in agreement—appropriations mustdesignate the purposes for which money can be spent.Even under the dissent’s “legislative control”theory, its attempt to distinguish the Customs Service and the PostOffice from the Bureau is not convincing. The dissent points outthat Congress had control over the Customs Service, for instance,because Customs had a “carefully delineated mission” and “earlytariff Acts spelled out in excruciating detail the various fees”customs officers could collect, as well as the salaries theofficers could be paid from those receipts. Post, at 19–20.According to the dissent, the Bureau is different because “[i]tspowers are broad and vast,” “[i]t does not collect fees,” and “itis permitted to keep and invest surplus funds.” Post, at 20.But, it is unclear why these differences matter under the dissent’stheory. After all, to make a valid appropriation, Congress mustdesignate the objects for which the appropriated funds may beused—as it did here. See 12 U.S.C. §5497(c)(1).Although there may be other constitutional checks on Congress’authority to create and fund an administrative agency, specifyingthe source and purpose is all the control the Appropriations Clauserequires.VThe statute that authorizes the Bureau to drawmoney from the combined earnings of the Federal Reserve System tocarry out its duties satisfies the Appropriations Clause.Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals andremand the case for further proceedings consistent with thisopinion.It is so ordered.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES_________________No. 22–448_________________CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, et al.,PETITIONERS v. COMMUNITY FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION OFAMERICA, LIMITED, et al.on writ of certiorari to the united statescourt of appeals for the fifth circuit[May 16, 2024]Justice Kagan, with whom Justice Sotomayor,Justice Kavanaugh, and Justice Barrett join, concurring.I join in full the Court’s opinion holding thatthe funding mechanism for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureaucomplies with the Appropriations Clause. As the Court details, thatconclusion emerges from the Clause’s “text, the history againstwhich that text was enacted, and congressional practice immediatelyfollowing ratification.” Ante, at 6. At its inception, theClause required only that Congress “identify a source of publicfunds and authorize the expenditure of those funds for designatedpurposes.” Ibid. The Clause otherwise granted Congress “awide range of discretion.” Ante, at 12. The result was“significant variety” in appropriations—most notably, as to theirspecificity, duration, and funding source. Ante, at 15; seeante, at 12–15. The CFPB’s funding scheme, if transplantedback to the late-18th century, would have fit right in.I write separately to note that the same wouldhave been true at any other time in our Nation’s history.“‘Long settled and established practice’ may have ‘greatweight’” in interpreting constitutional provisions about theoperation of government. Chiafalo v. Washington, 591U.S. 578, 592–593 (2020) (quoting The Pocket Veto Case,279 U.S.655, 689 (1929)); see also The Federalist No. 37, p. 229 (C.Rossiter ed. 1961). And here just such a tradition supportseverything the Court says about the Appropriations Clause’smeaning. The founding-era practice that the Court relates becamethe 19th-century practice, which became the 20th-century practice,which became today’s. For over 200 years now, Congress hasexercised broad discretion in crafting appropriations. Sometimes ithas authorized the expenditure of a sum certain for an itemizedpurpose on an annual basis. And sometimes it has departed from thatmodel in one or more ways. All the flexibility and diversityevident in the founding period has thus continued unabated, makingit ever more obvious that the CFPB’s funding accords with theConstitution.For one thing, Congress has never thought itnecessary to designate specific amounts for specific items. Overthe years, many appropriations have instead given the Executiveleeway to decide how to allocate funds, up to a ceiling, among aset of activities. As the Court shows, the First Congress madeappropriations of “sums not exceeding” stated amounts for “broadcategories” of purposes; the Executive then decided the level offunding it would use for all things within a category. Ante,at 12, 13. In instituting those “lump-sum grants,” the FirstCongress created a template for later ones to follow. Ante,at 12. Examples of such grants “abound in our history.”Clinton v. City of New York, 524U.S. 417, 467 (1998) (Scalia, J., concurring in part anddissenting in part). During the Civil War, Congress authorized theallocation of $76.5 million for various expenses “as the exigenciesof the [Army] may require.” Act of Feb. 25, 1862, ch. 32, 12Stat.344–345. In the Depression, Congress made $950 million available“for such projects and/or purposes” as the President “in hisdiscretion may prescribe.” Act of Feb. 15, 1934, ch. 13, 48Stat.351. More recent examples include an appropriation not to exceed$135 million for uses that the Secretaries of Defense and Energydetermine are “necessary for Atomic Energy Defense Activities.” Actof Nov. 29, 1989, §1605(a), 103Stat. 1598. The constitutionality ofsuch measures, Justice Scalia observed, “has never seriously beenquestioned”—in part because of their prevalence. Clinton,524 U.S., at 467. Our government practice has been “repletewith instances of general appropriations” to be “expended asdirected by designated government agencies.” Cincinnati SoapCo. v. United States, 301 U.S.308, 322 (1937). The CFPB’s authority to take and allocatemoneys up to a statutory cap is just one more instance to add tothe list.Similarly, Congress has never thoughtappropriations must be annual, or even time-limited.(Appropriations that are time-limited themselves showvariety: Most are annual, but some last for longer periods—say, twoor five years.[1]*) “Standing”appropriations—those making funds “always available for specifiedpurposes” without “requir[ing] repeated [legislative] action”—havea long history. GAO, Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, p.2–10 (rev. 4th ed. 2016). As the Court notes, the First Congress,by setting up fee-based schemes, provided the Customs Service andPost Office with indefinite funding. See ante, at 13–14, 17.And in doing so, that Congress again inspired its successors.Standing appropriations proliferated during the 19th century; by1880, 138 statutes making them were on the books. See S.Rep.No. 334, 46th Cong., 2d Sess., 4–7 (1880) (listing statutes). Andthe growth has not stopped: By Fiscal Year 2022, spending that doesnot require periodic appropriations (whether annual or longer)accounted for nearly two-thirds of the federal budget. SeeCongressional Budget Office, The Accuracy of CBO’s BudgetProjections for Fiscal Year 2022, p. 3 (Jan. 2023). Frequently,too, standing appropriations do not designate specific sums ofmoney, thus combining one type of flexibility with another. Theyinstead may provide the sums “necessary for purposes of” aprogram—such as to provide unemployment assistance or givescholarships to veterans’ dependents. 15 U.S.C.§9023(d)(3); see 20 U.S.C. §1070h(f). So again,Congress’s non-time-limited grant to the CFPB for amounts (up to acap) “reasonably necessary to carry out” its duties falls within anestablished tradition. 12 U.S.C. §5497(a).And “flexible approaches to appropriations” havebeen particularly common in the sphere of financial regulation.Ante, at 13. There, Congress’s adoption of assessment-basedfunding mechanisms (similar to those the First Congress used forthe Customs Service and Post Office, see supra, at 3) hasmeant that regulators do not have to seek yearly legislativefunding. And they generally may devote the funds they collect toany of a range of activities. For example, the Office of theComptroller of the Currency has authority to levy assessments onbanks as “necessary or appropriate to carry out [its]responsibilities.” 12 U.S.C. §16; see also Act of Feb.19, 1875, ch. 89, 18Stat. 329. Similarly, the Federal Reserve Boardassesses Federal Reserve Banks for whatever amount is “sufficientto pay its estimated expenses.” 12 U.S.C. §243; seealso Federal Reserve Act, 38Stat. 261 (1913). Indeed, not a singlefederal bank regulator is currently, or has been for a long while,funded by standard congressional appropriations. The CFPB receivedfrom those regulators most of the powers it wields today. So it isnot surprising that the CFPB also inherited a bank-funded schemeenabling it to allocate moneys, at its own discretion, to carry outit* responsibilities.I would therefore add one more point to theCourt’s opinion. As the Court describes, the AppropriationsClause’s text and founding-era history support theconstitutionality of the CFPB’s funding. See ante, at 6. Andso too does a continuing tradition. Throughout our history,Congress has created a variety of mechanisms to pay for governmentoperations. Some schemes specified amounts to go to designateditems; others left greater discretion to the Executive. Some werelimited in duration; others were permanent. Some relied on generalTreasury moneys; others designated alternative sources of funds.Whether or not the CFPB’s mechanism has an exact replica, itsessentials are nothing new. And it was devised more than twocenturies into an unbroken congressional practice, beginning at thebeginning, of innovation and adaptation in appropriating funds. Theway our Government has actually worked, over our entire experience,thus provides another reason to uphold Congress’s decision abouthow to fund the CFPB.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES_________________No. 22–448_________________CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, et al.,PETITIONERS v. COMMUNITY FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION OFAMERICA, LIMITED, et al.on writ of certiorari to the united statescourt of appeals for the fifth circuit[May 16, 2024]Justice Jackson, concurring.Today, the Court correctly concludes that, basedon the plain meaning of the text of the Appropriations Clause, “anappropriation is simply a law that authorizes expenditures from aspecified source of public money for designated purposes.”Ante, at 5. The statute that Congress passed to fund theConsumer Financial Protection Bureau easily meets theAppropriations Clause’s minimal requirements. See ante, at15. It authorizes the Bureau to withdraw money from “the combinedearnings of the Federal Reserve System,” 12 U.S.C.§5497(a)(1), in order “to pay the expenses of the Bureau incarrying out its duties and responsibilities,” §5497(c)(1). In myview, nothing more is needed to decide this case.Indeed, there are good reasons to go no further.When the Constitution’s text does not provide a limit to acoordinate branch’s power, we should not lightly assume thatArticle III implicitly directs the Judiciary to find one. TheConstitution was “intended to endure for ages to come, and,consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of humanaffairs.” McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 415(1819) (emphasis deleted). An essential aspect of theConstitution’s endurance is that it empowers the political branchesto address new challenges by enacting new laws and policies—withoutundue interference by courts. To that end, we have made clear incases too numerous to count that nothing in the Constitution givesfederal courts “‘some amorphous general supervision of theoperations of government.’” Raines v. Byrd,521 U.S.811, 829 (1997) (quoting United States v.Richardson, 418 U.S.166, 192 (1974) (Powell, J., concurring)). Put another way, theprinciple of separation of powers manifested in the Constitution’stext applies with just as much force to the Judiciary as it does toCongress and the Executive. See Public Workers v.Mitchell, 330 U.S.75, 90–91 (1947).This case illustrates why. As the Courtexplains, in response to the devastation wrought by the 2008financial crisis, Congress passed and the President signed theDodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Seeante, at 2. In that statute, Congress chose to fund theBureau outside of the annual appropriations process. Seeante, at 3. Drawing on its extensive experience in financialregulation, Congress designed the funding scheme to protect theBureau from the risk that powerful regulated entities might capturethe annual appropriations process. See, e.g.,S.Rep. No. 111–176, pp. 162–164 (2010); A. Levitin, ThePolitics of Financial Regulation and the Regulation of FinancialPolitics, 127 Harv. L.Rev. 1991, 2056–2058 (2014); R. Barkow,Insulating Agencies, 89 Texas L.Rev. 15, 42–45, 67, 77(2010); see also ante, at 4 (Kagan, J., concurring)(describing long history of congressional flexibility in designingfunding schemes for financial regulators).Respondents, two associations of payday lenders,represent exactly the type of entity the Bureau’s progenitorssought to regulate and whose influence Congress may have feared.See O. Bar-Gill & E. Warren, Making Credit Safer, 157 U. Pa.L.Rev. 1, 44–45, 55–59, 68–70 (2008). In urging us to findthe Bureau’s funding scheme unconstitutional, then, respondentswould not only have us find unstated limits in the Constitution’stext, they would have us undercut the considered judgments of acoordinate branch about how to respond to a pressing nationalconcern.Of course, to say that Congress had reasons fordesigning the Bureau’s funding scheme in the manner it did is notto endorse those policy choices. “With the wisdom of the policyadopted, with the adequacy or practicability of the law enacted toforward it, the courts are both incompetent and unauthorized todeal.” Nebbia v. New York, 291U.S. 502, 537 (1934). Instead, the Constitution places primaryresponsibility for checking the political branches with the People.See King v. Burwell, 576 U.S.473, 498 (2015) (“In a democracy, the power to make the lawrests with those chosen by the people”). It is to them that theCourt rightly returns any remaining policy questions posed bytoday’s case.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES_________________No. 22–448_________________CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, et al.,PETITIONERS v. COMMUNITY FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION OFAMERICA, LIMITED, et al.on writ of certiorari to the united statescourt of appeals for the fifth circuit[May 16, 2024]Justice Alito, with whom Justice Gorsuchjoins, dissenting.Since the earliest days of our Republic,Congress’s “power over the purse” has been its “most complete andeffectual weapon” to ensure that the other branches do not exceedor abuse their authority. The Federalist No. 58, p. 359 (C.Rossiter ed. 1961) (J. Madison). The Appropriations Clause protectsthis power by providing that “[n]o Money shall be drawn from theTreasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Art.I, §9, cl. 7. This provision has a rich history extending backcenturies before the founding of our country. Its aim is to ensurethat the people’s elected representatives monitor and control theexpenditure of public funds and the projects they finance, and itimposes on Congress an important duty that it cannot sign away.“Any other course” would give the Executive “a most dangerousdiscretion.” Reeside v. Walker, 11 How. 272, 291(1851).Unfortunately, today’s decision turns theAppropriations Clause into a minor vestige. The Court upholds anovel statutory scheme under which the powerful Consumer FinancialProtection Bureau (CFPB) may bankroll its own agenda without anycongressional control or oversight. According to the Court, allthat the Appropriations Clause demands is that Congress “identify asource of public funds and authorize the expenditure of those fundsfor designated purposes.” Ante, at 6. Under thisinterpretation, the Clause imposes no temporal limit that wouldprevent Congress from authorizing the Executive to spend publicfunds in perpetuity. Contra, Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws,bk. XI, ch. VI, p.160 (O. Piest ed., T. Nugent transl. 1949)(warning that a legislature will lose its power of the purse if itpasses an appropriation that lasts “forever”). Nor does the Court’sinterpretation require Congress to set an upper limit on the amountof money that the Executive may take. Today’s decision does noteven demand that an agency’s funds come from the Treasury. As theSolicitor General admitted at argument, under this interpretation,the Appropriations Clause would permit an agency to be fundedentirely by private sources. Tr. of Oral Arg. 34–35. In short,there is apparently nothing wrong with a law that empowers theExecutive to draw as much money as it wants from any identifiedsource for any permissible purpose until the end of time.That is not what the Appropriations Clause wasunderstood to mean when it was adopted. In England, Parliament hadwon the power over the purse only after centuries of struggle withthe Crown. Steeped in English constitutional history, the Framersplaced the Appropriations Clause in the Constitution to protectthis hard-won legislative power.IIn the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform andConsumer Protection Act, Congress created the CFPB, an independentregulatory agency with “vast rulemaking, enforcement, andadjudicatory authority over a significant portion of the U.S.economy.” Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau, 591 U.S. 197, 203 (2020); see id., at 222,n.8. And in designing the CFPB, “Congress deviated from thestructure of nearly every other independent administrative agencyin our history.” Id., at 203. At every turn, the statuteattempted to insulate the CFPB from control by any officialanswerable to the people. First, “Congress provided that the CFPBwould be led by a single Director, who serves for a longer termthan the President,” and Congress attempted to protect the Directorfrom removal by the President “except for inefficiency, neglect, ormalfeasance.” Ibid. In Seila Law, we struck down thisrestriction because it placed “potent” power in the hands of anofficial who was “neither elected by the people nor meaningfullycontrolled ... by someone who is.” Id., at 206,224–225.Elected in the atmosphere that followed thefinancial crisis of 2008, the Congress that created the CFPB alsosought to free the CFPB from supervision by subsequent Congressesthat might wish to superintend the Bureau’s exercise of its vastpowers. To achieve that end, the CFPB was given an unprecedentedway of obtaining funds that was expressly designed to make ittotally “independent of the Congressional appropriations process.”S. Rep. No. 111–176, p. 163 (2010).Under that scheme, the CFPB is not funded byappropriations enacted by Congress. Instead, each year, the CFPBDirector tells the Federal Reserve Board of Governors how muchmoney it thinks is “reasonably necessary” to carry out the CFPB’soperations. 12 U.S.C. §5497(a)(1). So long as thisamount does not exceed 12% of the Federal Reserve System’s totaloperating expenses, the Board of Governors must comply with thatdemand and hand over the specified sum “from the combined earningsof the Federal Reserve System.” §§5497(a)(1), (2)(A). Theseearnings come from the Federal Reserve Banks, which are federallychartered corporations that are “not departments of thegovernment.” Emergency Fleet Corp. v. Western UnionTelegraph Co., 275 U.S.415, 426(1928); see §341.[1] TheFederal Reserve Banks’ earnings represent interest on and gainsderived from the purchase and sale of securities, as well as feesthey receive for services provided to depository institutions,“such as check clearing, funds transfers, and automatedclearinghouse operations.” United States Federal Reserve System,The Fed Explained: What the Central Bank Does 4 (11th ed. 2021);see also Brief for Petitioners 23. At present, the CFPB’s maximumannual draw is nearly $750 million.[2]In addition, the CFPB, unlike most agencies,does not have to return any unspent funds to the Treasury. 12U.S.C. §5497(b). Instead, the CFPB may invest or rollover any unspent money into a separate fund, which it may use inthe future “to pay the expenses of the [CFPB] in carrying out itsduties and responsibilities.” §§5497(b)–(c).[3] As of September 30, 2022, the CFPB had built upan endowment worth nearly $340 million. See 2022 Report, at 86.In devising this novel scheme, Congress appearsto have anticipated that it might be challenged under theAppropriations Clause, and Congress therefore attempted to shieldits new creation by providing that “[f]unds obtained by ortransferred to the [CFPB] shall not be construed to be Governmentfunds or appropriated monies.”[4] §5497(c)(2). And to impede congressional oversight ofthe CFPB’s use of this money, the Act added that the Bureau’s fundsare not “subject to review by the Committees on Appropriations.”§5497(a)(2)(C).The Framers would be shocked, even horrified, bythis scheme. Beginning with the First Congress, agencies[5] were generally funded by annualappropriations from the Treasury. K. Stith, Congress’ Power of thePurse, 97 Yale L.J. 1343, 1354, n.53 (1988) (Stith).While there have been departures from this dominant model, nothinglike the CFPB’s funding scheme has previously been seen. In thedecision below, the Fifth Circuit held that the CFPB’s unparalleledfinancial independence violates the Appropriations Clause and “theconstitutional separation of powers.” 51 F. 4th 616, 642 (2022).Because I agree that the CFPB’s funding structure isunconstitutional, I would affirm the Fifth Circuit’s judgment.IIAThe Appropriations Clause is found in ArticleI, §9, clause 7, of the Constitution, which provides:“No Money shall be drawn from theTreasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and aregular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures ofall public Money shall be published from time to time.”The first part of this provision is customarilycalled the Appropriations Clause, and the second is referred to asthe Statement and Account Clause.The Appropriations Clause contains two keyterms—“Money ... drawn from the Treasury” and“Appropriations”—both of which require a little explanation. As theGovernment acknowledges, “Money ... drawn from theTreasury” is synonymous with the term “public Money,”[6] which appears in the Statement and AccountClause. And in this case, it is undisputed that the fundsrequisitioned by the CFPB constitute “public Money.”[7] Thus, the only remaining textual questionis whether the CFPB gets its funding from “Appropriations” in thesense in which the Constitution uses that term.The Court answers that question by consulting afew old dictionaries, which it says establish that “[i]n ordinaryusage, ... an appropriation of public money would be alaw authorizing the expenditure of particular funds for specifiedends.” Ante, at 7. It accordingly concludes that theAppropriations Clause requires no more than a law, a fund, and apurpose. Ante, at 6–7.This analysis overlooks the fact that the term“Appropriations,” as used in the Constitution, is a term of artwhose meaning has been fleshed out by centuries of history. To besure, in interpreting the Constitution, we start with thepresumption that “‘its words and phrases’” carry their“‘normal and ordinary’” meaning. District ofColumbia v. Heller, 554 U.S.570, 576 (2008) (quoting United States v.Sprague, 282 U.S.716, 731 (1931)). But our analysis cannot end there. Someprovisions use terms with specialized and well-established meaningsthat we cannot use dictionaries to brush aside. “‘[I]f a wordis obviously transplanted from another legal source, whether thecommon law or other legislation, it brings the old soil withit.’” Sekhar v. United States, 570 U.S.729, 733 (2013); see also A. Scalia & B. Garner, ReadingLaw: The Interpretation of Legal Texts 73–77 (2012). Applied here,this rule means that the term “Appropriatio[n]” should beinterpreted in light of “legal tradition and ...centuries of practice.” Morissette v. United States,342 U.S.246, 263 (1952). I therefore turn to that history.B1The delegates to the Constitutional Conventiondid not invent the appropriations requirement. Rather, thatimportant safeguard arose from centuries of “British experience.”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. All Am. CheckCashing, Inc., 33 F.4th 218, 224 (CA5 2022) (en banc)(Jones, J., concurring). The Framers were aware of therequirement’s deep roots and the critical role it had played in“the history of the British Constitution.” The Federalist No. 58,at 359. By steadily asserting the power to conditionappropriations, the House of Commons, originally “an infant andhumble representation of the people[,] gradually enlarg[ed] thesphere of its activity and importance, and finally reduc[ed], asfar as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives ofthe other branches of the government.” Ibid.A short summary of this process illustrates theimportant role of the appropriations requirement. During the MiddleAges, kings relied almost entirely on what was called “ordinary”revenue. F. Maitland, The Constitutional History of England 433(1908) (reprint 1993) (Maitland). This included income from landsowned by the Crown, customs duties, and feudal dues. See 1 W.Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 281–306 (2d ed.1766). Consequently, there was little meaningful difference“between the national revenue and the king’s private pocket-money.”Maitland 433.The Crown’s financial independence gave it theability to govern with little parliamentary interference. AsMaitland puts it, “throughout the Middle Ages the king’s revenuehad been in a very true sense the king’s revenue, and parliamenthad but seldom attempted to give him orders as to what he should dowith it.” Id., at 309. “Under the Tudors, parliament hardlydared to meddle with such matters.” Ibid.In the 17th century, however, this pattern beganto change. Id., at 309–310. By that time, “the king’sordinary revenues were no longer even remotely sufficient to coverthe normal costs of royal governance,” and the heavy expendituresof James I and Charles I exacerbated the problem. J. Chafetz,Congress’s Constitution 47 (2017) (Chafetz). Rather than seekingappropriations from Parliament, the early Stuart kings engaged incontroversial efforts to obtain additional ordinary income throughthe use of various royal “prerogative[s].” G. Smith, AConstitutional and Legal History of England 315 (1955) (Smith).Among other things, they unilaterally imposed duties on imports,stepped up the collection of feudal dues, sold monopolies, andforced individuals to loan money on pain of imprisonment. Seeid., at 315, 318.These measures aroused opposition and, in anyevent, did not yield sufficient funds. As a result, James I andCharles I periodically found it necessary to ask Parliament toimpose new taxes in order to obtain the funds they wanted. Whenthey did so, the Commons began to flex the power of the purse andto demand a measure of royal accountability. Disputes between theCommons and the Stuart kings about the power of the purse played apivotal role in the transition from royal to parliamentaryfinancial supremacy.A few incidents illustrate this dynamic. In1621, the power of the purse played a central role in disputesbetween the Crown and Parliament over religious, geopolitical, andjudicial authority. For some months, Parliament ignored requestsfrom James I for more tax revenue. T. Taswell-Langmead, EnglishConstitutional History From the Teutonic Conquest to the PresentTime 532 (3d ed. 1886) (Taswell-Langmead). Though Parliamentfinally expressed “willing[ness] to grant a moderate subsidy,” itinsisted “first” on redress for “grievances.” Id., at 533;see also Smith 315–316. Parliament’s petition infuriated James I,who ultimately dissolved Parliament and sent several of itsleaders—including Sir Matthew Hale—to the Tower of London.Taswell-Langmead 534, 536.Under Charles I, the situation worsened. At thebeginning of his reign, the Commons refused to grant him thelife-time power to impose tonnage and poundage duties, i.e.,duties on imports and exports, as had been the custom, but insteadgranted the power for only one year. Id., at 539. Themembers of Commons “had no intention of refusing a further supply,but were resolved to avail themselves of their Constitutional rightto make it dependent upon redress of grievances.” Ibid.Indignant about this temerity, the King hastily dissolvedParliament before the Lords passed the bill. Id., at 540;Smith 318. But as a consequence, the King once again then foundhimself without sufficient funds. So he took matters into his ownhands by resorting to the monarchy’s “old illegal methods ofraising money.” Taswell-Langmead 543.This reignited a power struggle between the twobranches. As a result, when Charles I again turned to Parliament in1628, the Commons refused to grant funds until he agreed to thePetition of Right, which demanded that he cease efforts to obtainmore “ordinary income” by objectionable means, such as compulsoryloans and the payment of “any tax, tallage,[8] aid, or other like charge not set by common consent,in parliament.” 3 Car. I., c. 1. (1628). The King, of course, didnot like this. So when the Commons continued to challenge royalprerogatives, Charles I prorogued Parliament. And during the longperiod that ensued in which Parliament did not meet (1629–1640),the King sought new sources of “ordinary income,” including theimposition of “Ship-money,” that is, fees imposed on both maritimeand inland counties to pay for the construction of ships.Taswell-Langmead 566–569. These practices “further enraged analready alienated Parliament, reinforcing a vicious cycle that ledto the Civil War and, ultimately, to Charles’s beheading.” Chafetz47.This constitutional crisis restored the EnglishGovernment’s financial separation of powers for a season. Duringthe Commonwealth, the Commons exercised “complete authority... over the whole receipts and expenditure of thenational treasury.” Taswell-Langmead 626. But shortly after theRestoration, the war for the supremacy of the purse reignited.Starting in 1665, “Parliament was largely unwilling to grant [theKing] additional money without specifying in some measure how itwas to be used.” Chafetz 50. “This precedent was followed in some,but not all ... cases under Charles II.” Maitland 310.Charles II, “fed up with parliamentary interference, ruled withoutParliament, and therefore without any parliamentary taxation, forthe rest of his reign.” Chafetz 50.After the Revolution of 1688, Parliament tookstrong measures to curb the Crown’s financial independence. The1689 Bill of Rights declared “[t]hat levying Money for or to theUse of the Crowne by pretence of Prerogative, without Grant ofParlyament for longer time or in other manner than the same is orshall be granted is Illegall.” 1 Wm. 3 & Mary 2, c. 2 (1688).In other words, to ensure “that it was supreme in directing the useof [all] public funds,” Parliament “asserted that any use of fundsby the monarch that lacked Parliament’s authorization wasunlawful.” Congressional Research Service, S. Stiff, Congress’sPower Over Appropriations: Constitutional and Statutory Provisions8 (2020).These steps, however, did not cementParliament’s power of the purse. Royal officers continued tocollect revenue and to evade the appropriations requirement byexaggerating collection costs, giving very little in “net receipts”to Parliament, and keeping the rest for the use of the Crown. P.Einzig, The Control of the Purse 164, 188 (1959) (Einzig). SoParliament took steps to crack down on this practice. Id.,at 188. In 1711, for example, Parliament passed a resolutiondeclaring that “‘applying any sum of un- appropriated money,or surplusages of funds to usages not voted, or addressed for byparliament, hath been a misapplication of the public money.’”6 Cobbett’s Parliamentary History of England 1025 (1810).Parliament also appointed a commission toprevent the Crown from defying the appropriations requirement. Inthat commission’s very first report, it recommended that “[r]evenueshould come from the Pocket of the Subject directly into theExchequer.” Report Relative to the Balances in the Hands of theReceivers General of the Land Tax, Nov. 27, 1780 (First Report),reprinted in 1 Reports of the Commissioners Appointed To Examine,Take, and State the Public Accounts of the Kingdom 14 (W. Mollesoned. 1783). Permitting revenue departments to retain or divert anypublic funds, the Commissioners concluded, would create a “privateInterest ... in direct Opposition to that of thePublic.” Ibid. Finally, Parliament took an increasingly“firmer line ... against virement, that is, thetransfer of funds appropriated for one department for the use ofanother department.” Einzig 144.2The Court’s treatment of this history beginsby conceding most of what I have recounted. The Court notes thatafter the Revolution of 1688, “Parliament’s usual practice was toappropriate government revenue ‘to particular purposes more or lessnarrowly defined,’” and “Parliament began limiting theduration of its revenue grants.” Ante, at 9 (quotingMaitland 433). “‘Every year,’” the Court continues, theKing and his ministers “‘had to come, cap in hand, to theHouse of Commons, and more often than not the Commons drove abargain and exacted a quid pro quo in return forsupply.’” Ante, at 9 (quoting G. Trevelyan, TheEnglish Revolution of 1688–1689, pp. 180–181 (1939)).In an effort to find a trace of helpfulprecedent in pre-founding British constitutional history, the Courtturns to laws appropriating funds for the “civil list,” which ittouts as a particularly “notable exception” to the centuries-longunderstanding of appropriations. Ante, at 9, 12, 19. Intruth, however, Parliament’s treatment of the civil list actuallyundermines the Court’s position. The civil list, although renamedin 2012, remains to this day, and it consists of the money neededto cover the expenses of the royal family.[9] By the end of the 17th century, “the Civil List wasa relatively small share of the total public expenditure,” but theindependence it afforded the Crown “presented a constitutionalproblem in the conflict between the principle of the independenceof the Crown and the principle of parliamentary control offinance.” E. Reitan, The Civil List in Eighteenth-Century BritishPolitics: Parliamentary Supremacy Versus the Independence of theCrown, 9 Hist. J. 318, 320, 322 (1966) (Reitan).To prevent the Crown from using the civil listto erode Parliament’s hard-fought supremacy over the purse, eminentstatesmen like Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox began pushing forsubstantial reforms. Id., at 328–337. Beginning in 1760,Parliament enacted a series of laws that altered the appropriationof civil list funds. Id., at 324; see, e.g., 1H. Cavendish, Debates of the House of Commons 267–307 (1841). Andby 1782, Parliament finally secured its “right ... tointerfere at its discretion in the affairs of the Civil List.”Reitan 336–337. “The eighteenth-century tension between theconflicting principles of parliamentary supremacy and anindependent financial provision for the Crown had been resolved—asit had to be—in favour of parliamentary supremacy.” Id., at336.C1“The conflicts between Parliament and theCrown over the power of the purse ... were replayed inthe American colonies in struggles between the royal governors andprovincial assemblies.” R. Rosen, Funding “Non-Traditional”Military Operations: The Alluring Myth of a Presidential Power ofthe Purse, 155 Mil. L. Rev. 1, 44 (1998); see also P. Wolfson, Is aPresidential Item Veto Constitutional? 96 Yale L.J. 838,841–842 (1987). But learning from Parliament’s experiences with themonarchy, some of the American Colonies assumed appropriationsauthority “greater even than that of the British House of Commons,”exercising significant auditing powers and legislative oversight.J. Greene, The Quest for Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in theSouthern Royal Colonies 106 (1963). Indeed, by 1787, all but one ofthe 11 State Constitutions provided their respective legislatureswith some control over appropriations; and no State allowed theexecutive to draw money from the state treasury without legislativeapproval. Chafetz 55, and nn.119–120 (citing provisions); seealso The Federalist No. 48, at 310 (J. Madison) (noting that, undermany state constitutions, “the legislative department alone hasaccess to the pockets of the people”).The Framers built on this legacy at theConstitutional Convention when they adopted the AppropriationsClause, which they “well understood” would “complet[e] the powervested in Congress over money.” 7 Annals of Cong. 1124 (1798)(statement of Rep. Albert Gallatin). The Clause not only “gives tothe Legislature an exclusive authority of raising and grantingmoney,” but it also obligates Congress to keep that authority from“the hands of the Executive” at all times thereafter. Ibid.It makes the President “depen[d] on the will of [Congress] forsupplies of money” in the first instance and puts him continually“in a state of subordinate dependence” to the people’s electedrepresentatives. 3 Debates on the Constitution 17 (J. Elliot ed.1836) (statement of Wilson Nicholas). The Appropriations Clauseenables Congress, “without the concurrence of the otherbranches, to check, by refusing money, any mischief in theoperations carrying on in any department of the Government.” 5Annals of Cong. 509 (1796) (statement of Rep. William Branch Giles)(emphasis added).Early budgets illustrate how the appropriationspower was understood. Although the Constitution does not requirethat appropriations be limited to a single year, that was thedominant practice in the years immediately following the adoptionof the Constitution. See ante, at 12. And while the firstfew appropriations laws were brief and lacked details about how themoney was to be spent, the amounts approved closely tracked theestimates submitted by Secretary of the Treasury AlexanderHamilton. See Chafetz 58–59. Indeed, the second appropriations actexpressly incorporated the estimates of specific expenses containedin Hamilton’s report to Congress. Compare Appropriations Act, §1,1Stat. 104, with 5 American State Papers: Finance 33 (1832). As aresult, Congress clearly contemplated that the money would bedevoted toward particular purposes.In the mid-1790s, appropriations laws becameeven more specific. Chafetz 59. And when Thomas Jefferson becamePresident, he urged Congress “to multiply barriers against” the“dissipation” of public funds by “appropriating specific sums toevery specific purpose susceptible of definition,” and “bydisallowing applications of money varying from the appropriation inobject, or transcending it in amount.” First Annual Message (Dec.8, 1801), reprinted in 9 The Works of Thomas Jefferson 336 (P. Forded. 1905); see also Letter from Albert Gallatin to Thomas Jefferson(Nov. 1801), reprinted in 1 The Writings of Albert Gallatin 68 (H.Adams ed. 1879) (“Congress should adopt such measures as willeffectually guard against misapplication of public moneys”).To be sure, not all early funding laws followedthe dominant model of specified short-term appropriations. Agenciesthat provided services to a particular segment of the public werefunded by fees that were paid by the recipients of those services.See, e.g., Act of Feb. 20, 1792, §§2–3, 1Stat. 233–234(funding the Post Office through collection of postage rates); Actof Apr. 2, 1792, ch. 16, §§1, 14, 1Stat. 246, 249 (funding theNational Mint in part through collection of fees); Act of July 31,1789, §29, 1Stat. 44–45 (funding customs collection through tonnagefees). If these fees exceeded the costs of providing the services,however, these agencies were required to send the surplus to theTreasury, which oversaw the collection and use of suchfees.[10]As the Government notes, Brief for Petitioners21–22, this practice had deep historical roots, see N. Parrillo,Against the Profit Motive 65 (2013) (Parrillo),[11] and was presumably based on the ideathat the cost of providing certain services should be borne by therecipients of those services rather than the general public. At thesame time, the requirement that fees in excess of what was neededto defray the cost of providing services be turned over to theTreasury ensured that Congress maintained control over the ways inwhich this money was spent. Under these arrangements, therefore,Congress exercised close control over both the amount of money thatthe agencies in question obtained and the way in which that moneywas used. The agencies received and were allowed to use the amountof money necessary to provide their narrowly prescribed services.All the rest was sent to the Treasury and could then be used onlyas authorized by a congressional appropriation.2In discussing this early American history, theCourt begins by essentially conceding the principal lesson outlinedabove. As the Court candidly puts it, “‘[w]hen called upon togrant supplies,’ the lower houses in the colonial assemblies‘insisted upon appropriating them in detail.’” Ante,at 10.[12] The best theCourt can muster to support its assertion that “state legislativebodies often opted for open-ended, discretionary appropriations”are a few minor state laws that, when understood in relation to theConstitutions of the States in question, provide no support for theCourt’s argument. Ibid.[13]*  *  *In sum, centuries of historical practice showthat the Appropriations Clause demands legislative control over thesource and disposition of the money used to finance Governmentoperations and projects.[14]IIIAAs the previous discussion shows, today’s caseturns on a simple question: Is the CFPB financially accountable toCongress in the way the Appropriations Clause demands? Historytells us it is not. As we said in Seila Law,“‘[p]erhaps the most telling indication of [a] severeconstitutional problem’ with an executive entity ‘is [a] lack ofhistorical precedent’ to support it.” 591 U.S., at 220(quoting Free Enterprise Fund v. Public CompanyAccounting Oversight Bd., 561 U.S.477, 505 (2010)). And the Government agrees with thisprinciple. In its briefing and at argument, the Government admittedthat an utterly unprecedented funding scheme would raise a seriousconstitutional problem. Reply Brief 18; Tr. of Oral Arg. 11, 26.The Government therefore attempts to show that there is ampleprecedent for the CFPB scheme, but that effort fails.The CFPB’s funding scheme contains the followingfeatures: (1)it applies in perpetuity; (2)the CFPB hasdiscretion to select the amount of funding that it receives, up toa statutory cap; (3)the funds taken by the CFPB come fromother entities; (4)those entities are self-fundedcorporations that obtain their funding from fees on privateparties, “not departments of the Government,” Emergency FleetCorp., 275 U.S., at 426; (5)the CFPB is notrequired to return unspent funds or transfer them to the Treasury;and (6)those funds may be placed in a separate fund thatearns interest and may be used to pay the CFPB’s expenses in thefuture. At argument, the Government was unable to cite any otheragency with a funding scheme like this, see Tr. of Oral Arg. 31–33,39–41, and thus no other agency—old or new—has enjoyed so manylayers of insulation from accountability to Congress.The Government points to the Post Office and theCustoms Service as founding-era precedents for the CFPB, but theanalogy is flawed. As noted, funding Government agencies with feescharged to the beneficiaries of their services has long been viewedas consistent with the appropriations requirement. And both thePost Office and the Customs Service fell comfortably into thatcategory.A quick look at the laws that set up the PostOffice and the Customs Service shows that they were nothing likethe CFPB. In the Act establishing the Post Office, Congress gavethat agency a narrow and specific mission: to “provide for carryingthe mail of the United States.” See, e.g., Act of Feb. 20,1792, §3, 1Stat. 234. The Postmaster’s discretionary authority wasmodest. (He could, for example, decide whether mail should becarried on particular routes “by stage carriages or horses.”Ibid.) The Act specified in minute detail the fees thatcould be collected from those who used the Post Office’s services.§9, id., at 235. And it required the Postmaster “to renderto the secretary of the treasury, a quarterly account of all thereceipts and expenditures” and to “pay quarterly, into the treasury..., the balance in his hands.” §4, id.,at 234. Under this arrangement, Congress controlled the amount thatthe Post Office took in (i.e., the sum total of the feesspecified by law) and how those fees were to be spent (i.e.,to provide for carrying the mail).Much the same is true with respect to theCustoms Service, which the Government claims “best” resembles theCFPB. Tr. of Oral Arg. 31. Like the Post Office, the CustomsService had a carefully delineated mission—basically, to controlimports and exports, and to collect duties and other payments fromthose engaged in those activities. To maintain accountability, theearly tariff Acts spelled out in excruciating detail the variousfees, fines, and forfeitures that officers were to collect, as wellas the salaries and commissions that were to be paid out of thosereceipts. Act of July 31, 1789, ch.5, 1Stat. 29–49; L.Schmeckebier, The Customs Service: Its History, Activities andOrganization 3–6 (1924). Surplus funds had to be sent to theTreasury, Act of July 31, 1789, §§9, 38, 1Stat. 38, 48, and formany years, these funds were the lifeblood of the FederalGovernment. From 1789 to 1862, “[n]early all of federal revenue wasderived from customs duties.” A. Reamer, Before the U.S.Tariff Commission: Congressional Efforts To Obtain Statistics andAnalysis for Tariff-setting, 1789–1916, in A Centennial History ofthe United States International Trade Commission 35(2017).[15]The CFPB, by contrast, is an entirely differentcreature. Its powers are broad and vast. It enjoys substantialdiscretionary authority. It does not collect fees from persons andentities to which it provides services or persons and entities thatare subject to its authority. And it is permitted to keep andinvest surplus funds. In short, the Government’s “best” argumentfails.The Government’s next-best analogs fare nobetter. Moving to modern agencies, the Government claims that theCFPB’s funding scheme is not materially different from the fundingschemes of a list of other currently existing agencies. See Brieffor Petitioners 22–23, 29–36 (comparing the CFPB to the Office ofthe Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal DepositInsurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit UnionAdministration (NCUA), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), theFederal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and others).But unlike the CFPB, the agencies cited by theGovernment are funded in whole or in part by fees charged those whomake use of their services or are subject to their regulation. Thisis true for the OCC, see 12 U.S.C. §16; the FDIC, see§1815; the NCUA, see §1755; the FCA, §2250; and the FHFA, see§4516.[16]For these reasons, it is undeniable that thecombination of features in the CFPB funding scheme isunprecedented. And it is likewise clear that this assemblage was noaccident. Rather, it was carefully designed to give the Bureaumaximum unaccountability. Our decision in Seila Lawaddressed part of the problem posed by this arrangement. It madethe CFPB accountable to the President, but that decision didnothing to protect Congress’s power of the purse. Indeed, standingalone, Seila Law worsens the appropriations problem. Theappropriations requirement developed to ensure that the Executive(in England, the monarch) would be accountable to the people’selected representatives. Seila Law, however, increased thepower of the Executive over appropriations. By brandishingor wielding the threat of removal, a President may push the CFPBdirector to requisition the amount of money that the Presidentthinks is appropriate and to spend that money as the Presidentwishes. I joined the decision in Seila Law and continue tobelieve that it was correctly decided, but it solved only half theaccountability problem that inheres in the CFPB’s structure.BLeft with no analog in history, the Governmentemploys a divide-and-conquer strategy to defend the CFPB’s fundingscheme. It argues that even if no prior agency had a funding schemewith all the features of the CFPB’s, the funding schemes of otherpresumptively constitutional agencies contain one or more of thefeatures found in the CFPB’s scheme. It then reasons that thecombination of these features in the CFPB’s scheme must beconstitutional as well.This argument founders for two reasons. First,the CFPB’s scheme includes an important feature never before seen.As explained, the CFPB’s money does not come from Congress, fromprivate recipients of its services, or from private entities thatit regulates. It does not even originate with another Governmentagency. Instead, the CFPB gets its money via a three-step process:The Federal Reserve Banks earn money from the purchase and sale ofsecurities, as well as from the fees they charge for providingservices to depository institutions. The Federal Reserve Banks thendeliver these earnings to the Federal Reserve System. Finally, theCFPB requests an amount from the Federal Reserve Board. Thatfeature of the CFPB scheme is entirely new.Second, the Government’s argument fails “toengage with the Dodd-Frank Act as a whole.” Seila Law, 591U.S., at 230. By addressing the individual elements of theCFPB’s setup one-by-one, the Government seeks to divert attentionfrom the combined layers that insulate the CFPB from accountabilityto Congress. Elements that are safe or tolerable in isolation maybe unsafe when combined. In the case of the CFPB, the combinationis deadly. The whole point of the appropriations requirement is toprotect “the right of the people,” through their electedrepresentatives in Congress, to “be actually consulted” about theexpenditure of public money. St. George Tucker, View of theConstitution of the United States 297 (1803) (C. Wilson ed. 1999).The CFPB’s design strips the people of this power.The Federal Reserve’s earnings represent“specific charges for specific services to specific individuals orcompanies.” FPC v. New England Power Co., 415 U.S.345, 349 (1974). It would be “a sharp break with ourtraditions” to allow the CFPB to use these earnings to fund abroader array of governmental activities that have little-to-norelationship with those specific charges, services, and regulatedentities. National Cable Television Assn., Inc. v. UnitedStates, 415 U.S.336, 341 (1974). By allowing the CFPB to use the FederalReserve’s earnings to enforce and implement broader consumerprotection laws, Congress impermissibly removed the CFPB “from itscustomary orbit” as an agency, authorizing the Bureau toappropriate funds obtained from private sources “in the manner ofan Appropriations Committee.” Ibid. In other words, Congressabdicated its appropriations authority, an exclusively legislativeprerogative. Knote v. United States, 95 U.S.149, 156 (1877). But Congress lacks the authority to “transferto another branch powers which are strictly and exclusivelylegislative.” Gundy v. United States, 588 U.S. 128,135 (2019) (plurality opinion) (internal quotation marksomitted).In sum, the CFPB’s unprecedented combination offunding features affords it the very kind of financial independencethat the Appropriations Clause was designed to prevent. It is notan exaggeration to say that the CFPB enjoys a degree of financialautonomy that a Stuart king would envy.CThis autonomy has real-world consequences. TheCFPB is a powerful agency with the authority to impose “substantiverules [on] a wide swath of industries” and “lev[y] knee-bucklingpenalties against private citizens.” Seila Law, 591U.S., at 222, n.8. In the last several months alone,the Bureau has announced plans to effectuate not one, but threemajor changes in consumer protection law. The CFPB has issuedguidance cautioning financial institutions from “denying credit toindividuals based on their [illegal] immigration status, regardlessof their personal circ*mstances and demonstrated ability torepay.”[17] It has alsobegun “a rulemaking process to remove medical bills from Americans’credit reports”[18] and tocap overdraft fees “at an established benchmark—as low as$3.”[19] These may or maynot be wise policies, but Congress did not specifically authorizeany of them, and if the CFPB’s financing scheme is sustained,Congress cannot control or monitor the CFPB’s use of funds toimplement such changes. That is precisely what the AppropriationsClause was meant to prevent.*  *  *The Court holds that the Appropriations Clauseis satisfied by any law that authorizes the Executive to take anyamount of money from any source for any period of time for anylawful purpose. That holding has the virtue of clarity, but suchclarity comes at too high a price. There are times when it is ourduty to say simply that a law that blatantly attempts to circumventthe Constitution goes too far. This is such a case. Today’sdecision is not faithful to the original understanding of theAppropriations Clause and the centuries of history that gave birthto the appropriations requirement,[20] and I therefore respectfully dissent.

Notes

1Each Federal Reserve Bankhas a Board of nine Directors—six are elected by private memberbanks, and three are appointed by the Federal Reserve System’sBoard of Governors. 12 U.S.C. §§302, 304.

2In the most recent fiscalyear, the Bureau requested $641.5 million of its then-applicable$734 million limit. Financial Report of the Consumer FinancialProtection Bureau: Fiscal Year 2022, pp. 44–45 (Nov. 15, 2022)(2022 Report) (online source archived athttps://www.supremecourt.gov).

3The CFPB invests thesefunds in 3-month Treasury bills, from which it receives anannualized return of 5%. See Board of Governors of the FederalReserve System, 3-Month Treasury Bill Secondary Market Rate,Discount Basis, Economic Research: Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis (Mar. 13, 2024),https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DTB3.

4Congress obviously cannotevade the Appropriations Clause simply by placing a different labelon an authorization to obtain and spend money that falls within themeaning of an “Appropriatio[n]” under that provision. And here, theGovernment argues that the statutory provision cited in the textwas not meant to have that effect, but was adopted for otherpurposes. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 20.

5For want of a betterterm, I use the term “agency” to refer to anycomponent of theExecutive Branch.

6See, e.g., Tr. ofOral Arg. 34; Stith 1357.

7See, e.g., Tr. ofOral Arg. 19, 34.

8A tallage is “[a]narbitrary tax levied by the monarch on towns and lands belonging tothe crown.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1756 (11th ed.2009).

9See Royal Finances,https://www.royal.uk/royal-finances (Apr. 22, 2024).

10 Atthe founding, it was well understood that “the unexpended balanceof any appropriation after a given period passes to the surplusfund.” 16 Annals of Cong. 393 (1807) (statement of Rep. DavidThomas). See, e.g., Act of Feb. 11, 1791, ch. 6, 1Stat. 190(recognizing default rule that surplus funds return to theTreasury); see also Act of Feb. 20, 1792, §§3–4, 1Stat. 234(requiring the Postmaster General to “pay, quarterly, into thetreasury of the United States, the balance” of any receipts afterusing them to “defray the expense” of services provided); Act ofJuly 31, 1789, §38, 1Stat. 48 (providing that an unexpended portionof all customs and fines shall be “paid into the treasury”thereof); Act of Sept. 2, 1789, ch. 12, §2, 1Stat. 65 ( “[I]tshall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to... superintend the collection of therevenue”).

11 Parliament and “nearly all theAmerican colonial legislatures” used such fees “to cover many andsometimes all of the offices within their respective bounds.”Parrillo 65.

12 Manysources document this general approach. See, e.g., P. Figley& J. Tidmarsh, The Appropriations Power and Sovereign Immunity,107 Mich. L. Rev. 1207, 1244 (2009).

13 Citing two Massachusetts lawsdirecting that certain revenue be used for broadly definedpurposes, the Court infers that the executive enjoyed widediscretion to decide how this money would be spent, seeante, at 11, but this inference is unwarranted. One of thetwo Massachusetts laws cited by the Court, Act of Nov. 17, 1786,1786 Mass. Acts and Laws ch. 47, p. 117, clearly illustrates thispoint. That law stated expressly that the revenue in question wasto be paid “into the Treasury of this Commonwealth, for theexigencies of Government.” Ibid. Under the StateConstitution, this money could be not be taken from the treasurywithout the approval of the legislature. See Mass. Const. of 1780,ch. 2, §1, Art. XI. And to fortify legislative control, the statetreasurer was elected annually by the legislature. Id., ch.2, §4. As another supposed example of a state law giving theexecutive wide discretion to decide how funds could be spent, theCourt cites a Maryland law specifying that certain revenue was tobe used for the general purpose of defending the Chesapeake Bay andprotecting trade. 1783 Md. Acts ch. 26, §5, reprinted in 1 W.Kilty, The Laws of Maryland (1799). The Court overlooks the factthat under the State’s Constitution, the two state treasurers wereappointed by and served at the pleasure of the legislature,Maryland Constitution of 1776, Art. XIII, and the legislature wasspecifically authorized to “examine and pass all accounts of theState, relating either to the collection or expenditure of therevenue, or appoint auditors, to state and adjust the same,” Art.X. Finally, the Court points to a Virginia law, ante, at 11,but again the Court overlooks the structure of the Virginiagovernment. Under the Virginia Constitution of 1776, the treasurerwas elected annually by the legislature, and this obviously gavethe legislature extensive power over expenditures. VirginiaConstitution of 1776, ¶17; see Chafetz 55 (referring to theVirginia Legislature’s authority over the state treasurer as an“explicit mechanism of legislative control overappropriations”).

14 Notcontent to rest on the Court’s argument, which relies on theCourt’s understanding of the original meaning of the AppropriationsClause, four Justices advance an entirely different rationale,namely, that congressional practice in the ensuing centuriessupports the constitutionality of the CFPB’s scheme. Ante,at 1 (Kagan, J., concurring). This argument is doubly flawed.First, the concurrence cannot point to any other law that created afunding scheme like the CFPB’s. Second, as explained by JusticeScalia, the separation of powers mandated by the Constitutioncannot be altered by a course of practice at odds with our nationalcharter. See NLRB v. Noel Canning, 573 U.S.513, 571–572 (2014) (opinion concurring in judgment).“[P]olicing the ‘enduring structure’ of constitutional governmentwhen the political branches fail to do so is ‘one of the most vitalfunctions of this Court.’” Id., at 572 (quotingPublic Citizen v. Department of Justice, 491 U.S.440, 468 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring injudgment)).

15 “In1792, for example, customs duties ... accounted for$3.4 million of the $3.7 million of total government receipts.”Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s, p. 101 (D.Irwin & R. Sylla eds. 2010).

16 TheGovernment also suggested that the Federal Reserve Board is a closehistorical analog for the CFPB. Brief for Petitioners 23; Tr. ofOral Arg. 41. But that setup should not be seen as a model forother Government bodies. The Board, which is funded by the earningsof the Federal Reserve Banks, 12 U.S.C. §§243, 244, isa unique institution with a unique historical background. Itincludes the creation and demise of the First and Second Banks ofthe United States, as well as the string of financial panics (in1873, 1893, and 1907) that were widely attributed to the country’slack of a national bank. See generally O. Sprague, History ofCrises Under the National Banking System, S. Doc. No. 538, 61stCong., 2d Sess. (1910). The structure adopted in the FederalReserve Act of 1913 represented an intensely-bargained compromisebetween two insistent and influential camps: those who wanted alargely private system, and those who favored aGovernment-controlled national bank. See, e.g., R.Lowenstein, America’s Bank 5–8, 113–116, 265 (2015). ForAppropriations Clause purposes, the funding of the Federal ReserveBoard should be regarded as a special arrangement sanctioned byhistory.

17 PressRelease, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB and JusticeDepartment Issue Joint Statement Cautioning That FinancialInstitutions May Not Use Immigration Status To IllegallyDiscriminate Against Credit Applicants (Oct. 12,2023).

18 PressRelease, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB Kicks OffRulemaking To Remove Medical Bills From Credit Reports (Sept. 21,2023).

19 PressRelease, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB Proposes RuleTo Close Bank Overdraft Loophole That Costs Americans Billions EachYear in Junk Fees (Jan. 17, 2024).

20 Atthe end of its opinion, the Court suggests that broad separationofpowers principles may provide more protection for Congress’s powerof the purse than does the Appropriations Clause. Ante, at18–19. But we do not generally resort to broad principles when aprovision of the Constitution specifically addresses the questionat hand. See County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S.833, 843 (1998). At any rate, since the decision below reliedon both the Appropriations Clause and broad separation of powersprinciples, 51 F.4th 616, 635 (CA5 2022), it is not clear whythe Court does not proceed to apply those principles.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Assn. of America, Ltd., 601 U.S. ___ (2024) (2024)
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Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.