Three years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau started its amicus program in which it looks for opportunities to file amicus briefs (and files them) in cases presenting important issues within the agency's many areas of operation. Reproduced below in full is a letter from the agency touting this important program. (Note that, in the three years the amicus program has been around, the agency has filed 14 amicus briefs, which doesn't stike me as that many. Perhaps that's because advocates have not been bringing important opportunities to the agency's attention.)
December 17, 2014
This month, the Bureau celebrates the three-year anniversary of the first amicus curiae brief it filed in federal court. Amicus curiae means “friend of the court.” Through the amicus program, the Bureau has sought to assist courts that are deciding cases that raise important and often complex legal questions under federal consumer financial law. To date, the amicus program has filed 14 amicus briefs in the federal courts of appeals and has worked closely with the Office of Solicitor General on several amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court. We seek your recommendations for future candidates for our amicus program.
The Bureau’s amicus briefs provide the courts with the agency’s views on legal questions involving the statutes and regulations that are subject to the Bureau’s regulatory authority. Through our amicus filings, we endeavor to aid the courts’ understanding of the consumer finance marketplace and promote consistency in judicial interpretation of federal consumer financial laws. In this way, the amicus program advances the Bureau’s statutory mission to ensure that federal consumer financial law is implemented “consistently for the purpose of ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.”
All of the Bureau’s amicus briefs are made publicly available on the CFPB’s amicus webpage: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/amicus/. The Bureau welcomes and encourages suggestions of cases as candidates for amicus curiae participation. We seek your recommendations as important stakeholders in the area of consumer finance. Anyone can suggest a case to us by sending an email to email@example.com and providing certain basic information, including the case name, docket number and court, and a description of the case and the legal issue presented.
Meredith Fuchs, Gneral Counsel, CFPB
Nandan M. Joshi, Director of Amicus Program