U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sided with the Trump administration Tuesday afternoon, after an Obama-era agency official attempted to stop the president from installing White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Former CFPB Director Richard Cordray resigned in late November, but designated his Chief of Staff Leandra English as deputy director before finalizing his departure. Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that chartered the CFPB, the agency’s deputy director may become the acting director when the director is “absent or unavailable.”
In response, President Donald Trump exercised his authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to name Mulvaney the acting director. English sued, claiming the appointment was unlawful, since Dodd-Frank specifically proscribes a succession procedure.
Mulvaney assumed the acting directorship Monday, and has been working from the director’s office at the agency’s Washington headquarters. The CFPB general counsel, Mary McLeod, circulated a memo among agency leadership on Nov. 25 explaining that, in her view, Trump has the authority to name an acting director.
For her part, English has also carried on as the acting director, huddling with Democratic lawmakers and agency officials.
“Today, I plan on spending the day at CFPB headquarters taking calls and meetings with external stakeholders and bureau staff,” she said in a Tuesday statement.
Judge Kelly was among Trump’s first appointments to the federal bench. His decision can now be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
This report, by Kevin Daley, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.