While we've had some snide and snarky fun with the federal lawsuit that a West Texas bank (and other organizations) recently filed that challenges the constitutional legitimacy of the CFPB, Ballard Sphar's Keith Fisher has been dissecting the claims made by the plaintiffs in a more sober fashion. His conclusion: there ain't no there, there.
Fisher thinks that the case is hampered "— perhaps fatally — by the plaintiffs’ questionable standing to bring these claims; in particular, the asserted injury in fact mandated by the 'case or controversy' clause of the Constitution seems rather attenuated." "Rather attenuated" is D.C. laywer-speak for "give me a frggin' break."
Fisher's analysis of the claims and their weaknesses is not long and I won't reiterate his discussion points here. Notwithstanding my unconcealed glee that the lawsuit's filing gave me blog-fodder and another chance to tweak the tail of Cordray & Co., I think Keith's skepticism of success by the plaintiffs is well founded. However, I also think that the ultimate success of this specific lawsuit is not really critically important to the plaintiffs.
While I haven't discussed the complaint with any of the parties, it seems obvious to me that the conservative trade association plaintiffs are trying to lay down a marker as part of a longer-running plan that hinges, in part, on what happens to the composition of Congress (and who's housed in the Oval Office) after the November national elections. A big dog is peeing on a fire hydrant to let another big dog know that he exists and that he's coming to claim the territory. This is merely one of many challenges to come. It's a war of attrition and it will be fought on a number of fronts.
Therefore, while Keith's legal analysis is correct, it's also not critical to the ultimate fate of the CFPB. No one who wants to see the USS CFPB torpedoed is staking their serious hopes on the outcome of this particular lawsuit. In many respects, it may be merely a rallying point for "The Adjustment Bureau's" opponents, until they get a chance to pull out the legislative shears and start some serious neutering in 2013, using talking points culled from the complaint.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
CFPB delenda est!