WASHINGTON — The political independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may end not with a bang — after a protracted battle in Congress — but with a whimper, the victim of a bureaucratic rule that prevents the agency from appealing a pending court case to the Supreme Court.

The D.C. Circuit ruled in October that the CFPB's single-director structure was incompatible with its status as an independent federal agency, finding that its leader would have to serve at the pleasure of the president to avoid violating the Constitution's separation of powers.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.