Mulvaney Faces New Bid by English to Unwind His CFPB Role

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

By Chris Bruce


Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s choice to serve as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is facing a new bid to unseat him in an ongoing court battle.

Leandra English, who says she’s the rightful acting director of the CFPB under the Dodd-Frank Act following a last-minute appointment by former CFPB Director Richard Cordray, late yesterday asked a federal judge in Washington to block Mulvaney from serving as CFPB acting director. She also asked for an order declaring that any actions by Mulvaney would have no force or effect.

The 13-page filing, which was expected, also asked the court for a declaration that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act — the statute that the Trump administration said allows Mulvaney’s appointment — doesn’t control the case. In addition, the motion asked the court to bar the administration from appointing anyone except English as acting director.

The filing came after Judge Timothy J. Kelly Dec. 5 scheduled briefing on English’s motion, and set a hearing on it for Dec. 22.
The motion, once acted upon by the court, could change the shape of the case. A ruling in English’s favor might throw into question actions already taken by Mulvaney in connection with CFPB regulation and enforcement. Many expect that whatever ruling Kelly makes in the case will be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. English lost an earlier bid for an emergency temporary restraining order—a motions ruling that is difficult if not impossible to appeal. However, if Kelley rules against her in this stage of the case, she likely would be able to appeal that decision.

Mulvaney also faces a separate court challenge in the Southern District of New York, where the Lower East Side People’s Credit Union Dec. 5 said the appointment of Mulvaney has thrown the credit union into “regulatory chaos,” because it can’t identify the lawful director of the CFPB.

Case: English v. Trump, D.D.C., 17-cv-02534, motion for preliminary injunction 12/6/17.