It looks like the fight over who will lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is coming to an end, as a federal appeals court agreed to expedite the appeal seeking to unseat acting Director Mick Mulvaney.
According to American Banker, after District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied Leandra English’s temporary restraining order against Mulvaney last month, English filed an appeal, which has now been expedited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
A three-judge panel will hear the case, and briefs are expected to be filed by the end of this month.
On November 25, departing CFPB director Richard Cordray appointed English, then the agency’s chief of staff, as deputy director. Cordray said English “shall” serve as the agency’s acting chief if the director is unavailable or absent.
But within a few hours, Trump appointed Mulvaney, who also directs the White House Office of Management and Budget, as the legal interim head of the CFPB. Trump said he had authority to make the move under the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
Mulvaney had long been a critic of the CFPB, calling the agency a “sad, sick joke.”
“Americans deserve a CFPB that seeks to protect them, while ensuring free and fair markets for all consumers,” Mulvaney said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
English sued President Donald Trump and Mulvaney, stating that she should be the new acting director under the Dodd-Frank Act. She also sought to block Mulvaney from running the agency.
Kelly’s ruling supported the Trump administration's appointment. It’s important to note that the lawsuit was filed by English and not the CFPB, which supported the Trump administration's decision to appoint Mulvaney.
"It's a sign that the court sees the importance of the issue and that the issue of the interim leadership of the bureau is not settled," said Richard Horn, of Richard Horn Legal, who is a former CFPB senior counsel and special adviser.