Conservative appellate lawyers from major U.S. law firms are vying against each other at the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices weigh whether to hear arguments against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency whose independent, single-director design long has drawn the ire of the financial industry and congressional Republicans.

It’s the legal equivalent of elbow-throwing at the high court. Appellate lawyers representing different clients have given the justices competing arguments against the consumer bureau, framing their cases as the best path to confront a constitutional question that has reverberated in the lower courts, and divided them, for several years.

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