Judge Rejects Legal Challenge to Mulvaney at CFPB

A federal judge today sided with the White House and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney in the legal conflict over the bureau’s interim leader. Judge Timothy Kelly declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English preventing Mulvaney from performing the duties of acting director. English said she will seek to appeal the ruling and continue seeking an injunction.

Mulvaney was appointed by President Trump following Richard Cordray’s abrupt resignation as director on Friday. Named deputy director shortly before Cordray’s resignation, English sued Mulvaney and Trump on the theory that the Dodd-Frank Act makes her the bureau’s acting director during a vacancy.

The White House took the position that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act applies, allowing the president to name a currently serving Senate-confirmed official as acting director — a conclusion reached by both the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the CFPB’s own general counsel, who over the weekend “advise[d] all Bureau personnel to act consistently with the understanding that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director of the CFPB.”

The American Bankers Association sent a memo to members on Monday outlining the situation and the legal questions at the heart of the conflict, and ABA staff continue to monitor the CFPB’s leadership transition closely.