The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s single-director leadership structure is unconstitutional. However, rather than suggesting adoption of a commission — something Republicans have attempted to legislate — the justices merely sent the CFPB to the executive branch.

"This decision is actually a blessing in disguise for the CFPB," said Adam Levitin, a law professor for Georgetown University who serves on the bureau's Consumer Advisory Board. He said the decision should kill Republican efforts to implement a commission structure since the justices have already addressed the constitutionality issue. "The D.C. Circuit did agree with [Republicans], but the D.C. Circuit also thinks they've fixed the problem," Levitin said.

While the unconstitutional finding will likely garner the most headlines, the court's decision on the actual case might prove more meaningful. The unconstitutional finding was part of a case brought by PHH Corp. to fight a CFPB order regarding payments to a subsidiary. Whereas the three-judge panel was split on the constitutionality question, all justices agreed that the CFPB erred in its action against PHH.

Alan Kaplinsky, a partner with Ballard Spahr, also said possible dampening of the CFPB's aggressive enforcement arm would be the ruling's largest impact. "The CFPB is going to be subject to more scrutiny in the future — scrutiny from the President and scrutiny from the courts," he said.