Last night, Northern District of Texas Judge Reed O’Connor formally recused himself in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawsuit seeking to block the Biden administration’s historic new rule capping the majority of credit card late fees at $8. The decision – as Reuters reports – came amid findings from government watchdog Accountable.US that Judge O’Connor has personally invested up to tens of thousands of dollars in credit card-issuing companies, including U.S. Chamber members. An Accountable.US review of public filings shows Judge O’Connor intended to continue overseeing the case as recently as Thursday afternoon when he accepted an amicus brief from the Bank Policy Institute authored by former Trump Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.  Accountable.US called O’Connor’s last-minute recusal a win for consumers who deserve a fair and impartial judge on this Biden administration rule that is poised to save consumers billions of dollars annually.

Judge O’Connor’s 11th hour recusal should have come sooner given his clear conflicts of interest, including deep investments in Chamber-member banks that issue credit cards. In a case that will decide whether consumers will keep paying predatory late fees up to $41, they deserve a fair and impartial judge. It’s hard to imagine how Judge O’Connor ever thought he could be impartial given his own financial disclosures.”

Accountable.US President Caroline Ciccone
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