Federal Judge Delivers Blow to Liz Warren, Barney Frank — OK’s Trump Naming of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/11/28/federal-judge-delivers-blow-to-liz-warren-barney-frank-oks-trump-naming-of-consumer-finance-protection-bureau-chief/

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of President Donald Trump’s move to install White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, dismissing a legal bid to block the naming of Mulvaney that had been backed by scores of prominent Democrats, including Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Leandra English, who had been named acting director of the financial protection bureau last week by outgoing head Richard Cordray, filed for an emergency restraining order on Sunday that sought to halt Trump’s naming of Mulvaney. Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney was seen by Warren and other top Democrats as unethical, and the Cambridge Democrat helped lead a protest outside bureau headquarters on Tuesday.

Warren has maintained that Mulvaney is “determined to destroy the agency,” which was created in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted in 2010. Warren had been then-President Barack Obama’s first appointee to the agency, prior to her 2012 election to the Senate. She had originally proposed creating the bureau in a brief she composed while teaching at Harvard Law School in 2007.

Former Massachusetts U.S. Representative Barney Frank, whose name was attached to the reform measure, was listed as a movant in English’s legal filing, as was Warren.

English had cited the Dodd-Frank legislation, arguing that it stipulated that director appointments are the duty of the outgoing director. She claimed in her lawsuit that Cordray’s decision to step down as director “triggered the provision” in the law, meaning English was legally entitled to “serve as [the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s] acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director.”

In a letter sent Monday to Mulvaney and White House attorney Don McGahn, Warren wrote that “the language of the Dodd-Frank law is clear,” and added that “Leandra English, not Mr. Mulvaney, is the legal Acting Director of the agency,” while questioning the ethics and potential for political influence of having a White House aide leading the bureau.

In her complaint, English’s attorneys claim that Trump sought to rely on the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to “bypass the statutory requirement” laid out in Dodd-Frank.

“The legislative history of the Act [Dodd-Frank] also indicates that Congress initially considered whether to use the [Federal Vacancies Reform Act’s] mechanisms to provide for an acting director of the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau], but specifically rejected this path in favor of having the deputy director accede to the position,” English argued.

Washington D.C. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly — a Trump appointee who took his seat on the bench in September — disagreed, however.

Records from Tuesday’s 4 p.m. hearing were not immediately available, and it is unclear how long Mulvaney will serve as acting director prior to a required Senate confirmation vote. English in her court filings has pointed out that Mulvaney could be heading the bureau “for many months” before a confirmation vote is held.

Mulvaney in the past has publicly backed Republican-sponsored legislation intended to end the bureau.

Read the text of English’s proposed restraining order:

2017-11-28 English v Trump by Evan on Scribd