The Trump administration is making a legal case that would make it easier for the president to fire the head of the government's consumer finance watchdog agency.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken enforcement actions against many financial companies, angering the financial industry and Republican lawmakers, who accuse it of overreaching its authority.
Its director can only be removed "for cause," such as neglect of duty, and not over political differences. An appeals court is scheduled to hear in May whether that is unconstitutional.
The Justice Department said in its legal brief Friday that the agency's structure violates the Constitution because it gives excessive power to its director, Richard Cordray. He was appointed by President Barack Obama.