Oct 18, 2019

The Supreme Court will decide if the CFPB is unconstitutional

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court announced today that it will decide whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren — is unconstitutional. It could hand down its ruling just weeks before Democrats' 2020 convention.

The big picture: The CFPB has a single director whom the president cannot fire at will. Critics say that's a violation of the president's constitutional powers. The court will have three options: uphold the CFPB's structure, rule that the director must be fireable (as Justice Brett Kavanaugh ruled previously), or throw out the CFPB altogether.

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Second-term Supreme Court cases to watch

Photo: Nurphoto/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, now with a solid conservative majority after Justice Brett Kavanaugh's appointment, is hearing cases that could have long-term ramifications on immigration, LGBTQ employment protections and access to abortion.

The big picture: The high court — with 5 conservatives and 4 liberals — kept a relatively low profile in its first term this year. But it could hand major wins to Republicans in 2020's second term, emboldened by Kavanaugh's appointment and sharpening their focus as a slew of hot-button disputes work their way up from lower courts.

Key cases to watchArrowUpdated Oct 18, 2019

Read: Appeals court rules Congress can access Trump's tax records

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting at the White House on Oct. 21. Photo: Brendan Smialowsky/AFP via Getty Images

Congress can seek eight years of President Trump's tax records, according to a federal appeals court ruling on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's a major setback for Trump, who's tried to block every attempt to make his tax returns public and plans to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 14, 2019

Federal judge temporarily blocks Alabama abortion bill

Pro-choice protesters gather at the Supreme Court on May 21 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, temporarily halting Alabama's restrictive abortion ban from taking effect on Nov. 15, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, is an "early step in a legal confrontation that critics of abortion orchestrated to try to reach the United States Supreme Court," the Times writes. The legislation would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion under almost any circumstance, including rape or incest.

Go deeperArrowOct 29, 2019