CFPB Deputy Director Sues President To Keep His Pick As CFPB Director From Taking Office

Leandra, English, the acting deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his named replacement to be the best director of the agency, claiming she should be in charge.

A copy of the complaint in the case of English v. Trump can be viewed here.

English, who was promoted to deputy director hours before former director Richard Cordray submitted his resignation to President Trump, filed the lawsuit Sunday in the District Court for the District of Columbia. English also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the president from installing Mick Mulvaney has the new head of the agency.

English is asking the court to declare her the rightful director of the CFPB.

She claims the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act asserts her right as Cordray’s replacement, while the president is using the Federal Vacancies Reform Act as the legislative basis for naming Mulvaney as his replacement. The Dodd-Frank Act states that the deputy director assumes the role and responsibilities of the director in the “absence of unavailability” of the director. There is some uncertainty over whether that covers when the director leaves his post. In her complaint, English wrote:

The President’s interpretation of the FVRA runs contrary to Dodd-Frank’s later-enacted, more specific, and mandatory text. The President’s stance is also difficult to square with the relevant legislative history: An earlier version of the Dodd-Frank Act, which would have specifically allowed the President to use the Vacancies Act to temporarily fill the office, was eliminated and replaced with the current language designating the Deputy Director as the Acting Director. And the President’s attempt to appoint a still-serving White House staffer to displace the acting head of an independent agency is contrary to the overall statutory design and independence of the Bureau.

The Justice Department’s Office of of Legal Counsel issued an opinion on Saturday saying the president was within his powers to appoint Mulvaney as the temporary head of the CFPB.

Since the dueling appointments were made public on Friday, many have expected this to turn into a legal battle. Stay tuned.

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