Judge Again Rules in Trump's Favor in CFPB Controversy


A federal judge ruled late Wednesday that Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney can keep his second job as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for now. Judge Timothy Kelly said that English was not likely to win on the merits of the case.

This case concerns whether the President is authorized to name an acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") or whether his choice must yield to the ascension of the Deputy Director, who was installed in that office by the outgoing Director in the hours before he resigned. That request had been made by Leandra English, who was appointed acting head of the Bureau by former CFPB Director Richard Cordray after he announced his retirement in November 2017.

Kelly denied English's request for a preliminary injunction that would undo Mulvaney's appointment and block Trump from appointing anyone else. That same day, he named Plaintiff Leandra English the CFPB's Deputy Director, in an apparent attempt to select his successor. "I would like to thank David Silberman for taking on the additional role of acting deputy director during a busy time and appreciate his continued service as associate director of Research, Markets, and Regulations". But the judge concluded that issuing the injunction that English wanted wouldn't solve the problem.

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When President Trump then appointed outspoken CFPB critic Mulvaney to head the organization, the stage was set for turmoil and controversy in the months to come. English had previously served as Cordray's chief of staff. She seeks a preliminary injunction that would restrain the President from appointing an acting Director other than her, require the President to withdraw Mulvaney's appointment, and prohibit Mulvaney from serving as acting Director. English then filed the motion for a preliminary injunction to block Mulvaney's appointment, and Kelly heard arguments on December 22.

"There is an urgent public need for clarity", wrote Deepak Gupta, English's attorney, in the filing. He said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that they were disappointed with Kelly's decision. "Mr. Mulvaney's appointment undermines the Bureau's independence and threatens its mission to protect American consumers".