A federal judge refused to block President Trump's choice of budget director Mick Mulvaney from serving as acting director of the prominent federal consumer watchdog agency on Tuesday, denying a request by Leandra English, the No. 2 official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to serve in his stead.
"A temporary restraining order would radically alter the status quo, disrupt the orderly operation of the agency, and throw into doubt whether the CFPB, under the leadership of an Acting Director, is accountable to the President, or to anyone", the filing said.
In doing so, Kelly ruled against Leandra English, the CFPB's deputy director.
Both Mulvaney and English were present at the CFBP on Monday morning.
Kelly, a Trump appointee who joined the federal court in Washington in September, ruled after departing chief Richard Cordray resigned Friday and promoted English, his chief of staff, to deputy director and named her his successor as acting director. Republicans and the banking industry have complained that the agency, created in reaction to the global financial crisis, lacks accountability and that its rulemaking made it harder for consumers to get loans.
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Under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB is specifically created to be an independent agency, but detractors believe that it may have become too independent.
Trump has long sought to weaken or abolish the 1,600-employee agency, saying too many regulations are suffocating lending.
Outside of the courtroom Tuesday, English's attorney told reporters he and his client have options to consider: "We could file a preliminary injunction, or we could file an appeal or we could file a motion to end this case and take it straight to DC circuit court".
Seven years after Elizabeth Warren fought a political battle to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the MA senator was on the sidewalk outside the agency Tuesday fighting for its future. President Donald Trump is expected to pick a permanent replacement in the coming weeks. Appearing Monday night on The Rachel Maddow Show, Cordray said the "the law is clear here" that English is next in line for acting director. "Everyone needs to know who is director of the bureau", Gupta said. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in her capacity as acting director through the afternoon. On Monday, he signed off a memo as "acting director", urging staff to stop by his office and "grab a donut".
Mulvaney was at the bureau Monday, issuing orders, meeting with senior aides and reviewing transition briefing materials, Shumate said, and the imposition by a judge of a different leader would only sow more confusion and disruption. Kelly said the text of the vacancies law applies in English's case.