WASHINGTON — Supporters of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are dismissing a new lawsuit that seeks to abolish the agency as a political stunt, and even bank industry insiders who would like the case to succeed are privately calling it an uphill battle.

But despite what appear to be long odds, the suit could have an impact on the CFPB's operations in a more indirect way. The litigation could drag on for years, and the case could force the agency to make public statements that have the effect of curtailing its power, observers said.

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