Tag Archives: Separation of powers

Average Joe SCOTUS: Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

So…this is kinda complicated. These scummy folks at Seila Law are in the business of debt relief law. Meaning, they try to help people who racked up a bunch of debt and can’t pay it. Having worked with a law firm who does this, I personally found it less than helpful. They pretty much charged me a couple thousand dollars to do what I could have done, by just calling the IRS (the people I owed). But maybe they’re more effective with credit card companies and shit, IDGAF.

Anyway, as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, a bunch of bullshit laws designed to protect an economic collapse that assholes in congress argue happened in 2008 because of deregulation and those scummy bankers, when the reality was, that collapse was caused just as much or more by fucking government’s interference in the market in the first place. But I digress.

Anyway… The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created as part of this stupid law, and it’s leader, appointed by the president, can’t be fired other than for like if they commit a crime or some shit.  When the CFPB decided to investigate those douchebags at Seila Law, Seila was like, “How fucking dare you? Go the fuck away. As a matter of fact, we don’t even recognize your constitutional right to exist, you assholes.”

Seila’s argument being that the separation of powers rule in the constitution shouldn’t allow for a committee like this to be set up by congress, but then act like the president when they’re not in fact the actual president. It would basically make the asshole running this board unanswerable to the three branches of government, and effectively their own new branch.

In a 5:4 Republican-appointee decision SCOTUS sided with Seila Law, that such an appointment does in-fact violate the separation of powers. But, that provision is able to be removed from the law without ending the law entirely, so sadly Dodd-Frank still stands as law, just without this bullshit appointee. If the president gets to appoint them, they get to fire them too.

The Democrat-appointee’s dissented based on principle, but in my opinion it’s kinda bullshit.

They rightly claim that these restrictions on termination are good for the same reason SCOTUS being that way is good. It makes sure these people don’t make decisions based on political pressure. But there’s little doubt that it does indeed take the power away from the president. Richard Cordray for instance was the first person nominated to the post by Obama in 2010. Once Trump took office, this law basically said Trump couldn’t force Cordray to enforce the law as Trump dictates, which is his job as president.

So while I believe it’s a decent argument by the Dem-appointees, they’re still wrong to argue it. I’m glad they lost.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies

So these Click-to-Call assholes sued these Thryv assholes for a patent infringement. Any company that spells a normal word in a weird way (Thryv instead of Thrive) deserves to lose just because they’re probably annoying fucks who think they’re edgy, IMO. But I digress.

Anyway, there’s this procedure within patent law called Inter Parties Review (IPR). Basically, where someone with a complaint about the patent, can ask the patent office (PTO) to review that shit.

However, there’s a rule within this that says, if you’ve been sued as infringing the patent, you can’t ask for an IPR more than a year after you’ve been sued. If you’ve never been sued for infringement however, you can ask for IPR to your heart’s content.

Well, despite the fact that C2C sued Thrive 12 years earlier, the 1 year time-bar was ruled as not relevant, because the case was dropped. So they basically argued that since the case was dropped, the one year time limit didn’t apply—it’s as if the suit never even happened.

But now that Thryv is asking for an IPR, C2C is like, “Woah, you assholes. It’s 12 years since we sued you mother fuckers, way longer than a fucking year. Take your IPR request and shove it squarely up your ass sideways.”

So now SCOTUS has to decide if a suit that is dropped happened or not basically. They’re also looking into whether the judicial branch even has the right to opine on execute decisions. Meaning that the Patent Office is directed by the Executive branch, and they get to make their own rules. So can a judge investigating an IPR ruling even have the authority to do that. Separation of powers and all.

In a 7-2 decision, SCOTUS was more impressed with Thryv’s argument. That it is a separation of powers thing, and that SCOTUS can’t overrule the president’s procedures for the patent office.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case and the opinions here.