Ninth Circuit Holds Consumer Financial Protection Act Applies to Tribes

Written by: Matthew Fletcher

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, January 20, 2017


Here is the opinion in Consumer Financial Protection Board v. Great Plains Lending.

An excerpt:

We have consistently held in our post-Stevens precedent that generally applicable laws apply to Native American tribes unless Congress expressly provides otherwise. In the Consumer Financial Protection Act, a generally applicable law, Congress did not expressly exclude tribes from the Bureau’s enforcement authority. Although the Act defines “State” to include Native American tribes, with States occupying limited co-regulatory roles, this wording falls far short of demonstrating that the Bureau plainly lacks jurisdiction to issue the investigative demands challenged in this case, or that Congress intended to exclude Native American tribes from the Act’s enforcement provisions. Neither have the Tribes offered any legislative history compelling a contrary conclusion regarding congressional intent. At this stage of the proceedings, we affirm the district court’s order enforcing the investigative demands against the Tribal Lending Entities.


At this stage of the proceedings, we conclude that the district court properly held that the Bureau does not plainly lack jurisdiction to issue investigative demands to the tribal corporate entities under the Act. See id. at 1002. Although the Tribal Lending Entities make some appealing arguments, none of the arguments suffices to breach or evade the barrier to their success provided by the Coeur d’Alene revetment.

Briefs here.

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Matthew Fletcher
Matthew L.M. Fletcher is Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan. In 2010, Professor Fletcher was elected to the American Law Institute.