The federal judge hearing a lawsuit filed against President Donald Trump denied a motion to grant a temporary restraining order that would prohibit his pick to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from doing so.
The motion was filed by Leandra English, who was promoted to deputy director of the CFPB by Richard Cordray hours before Cordray resigned his position last Friday. English is suing the president and Mick Mulvaney, the president’s pick to be interim director of the CFPB, alleging the position should be hers.
Until the motion for a temporary restraining order is appealed or until the lawsuit is resolved, there will continue to be dueling directors of the CFPB.
English is arguing that a clause in the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act indicates she should be the director of the CFPB while the president is using the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) to install Mulvaney to lead the agency until a permanent replacement is named and subsequently confirmed by the Senate. The FVRA allows the president to appoint anyone who has already been confirmed by the Senate to head another government agency. The Dodd-Frank Act says that the deputy director should assume the role of director in the event the director is unavailable. The conflicting language has led to both English and Mulvaney claiming to run the CFPB.
The CFPB’s general counsel and the Justice Department have both sided with the president, while Cordray and a host of other Democrats have sided with English.
“Denying the president’s authority to appoint Mr. Mulvaney raises significant constitutional questions,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said.
Allowing Mulvaney to run both the CFPB and the Office of Management and Budget, his job prior to being named interim director of the agency, would compromise the bureau’s independence, English and her lawyers have argued.