WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a bizarre decision, tonight the conservative-leaning U.S. Fifth Circuit Court ordered the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the CFPB’s credit card late fee rule back to a Texas federal court — reversing a decision by Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman to transfer their lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Pittman criticized the U.S. Chamber for blatant judge shopping, saying, “Venue is not a continental breakfast; you cannot pick and choose on a plaintiffs’ whim where and how a lawsuit is filed.”  Government watchdog Accountable.US condemned the 5th Circuit’s decision to seize the case back so that it falls under their jurisdiction — even though a judge had already been assigned to it in D.C. – as a lawless decision and clear judicial overreach that the U.S. Chamber and the big banks they represent were hoping for. 

The conservative, industry-friendly Fifth Circuit went so far out of its way to keep this anti-consumer lawsuit in their jurisdiction, it can only be considered judicial overreach and a power grab. The court gave the U.S. Chamber and the big banks they represent exactly what they wanted in a case that could cost vulnerable Americans billions of dollars.

The U.S. Chamber’s legal strategy all along was to go judge shopping in Texas in hopes of eventually facing the 5th Circuit where they expect a sympathetic ear in their mission to enshrine credit card late fees as high as $41 to maximize corporate profits. It’s unfortunate for consumers that the 5th Circuit is going along with a well-known scheme by conservatives to manipulate the judicial system for political and corporate gain.”

Tony Carrk, Executive Director of Accountable.US

Just last week, the 5th Circuit granted big bank trade groups a preliminary injunction on a pro-consumer update to the Community Reinvestment Act that was set to take effect on Monday.


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