WASHINGTON – A federal judge refused to block the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, siding with the Trump administration in the legal fight over the leadership of the consumer watchdog agency.
“Denying the president’s authority to appoint Mr. Mulvaney raises significant constitutional questions,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said.
Kelly said that “nothing in the statutes prevents Mr. Mulvaney from holding both of these positions.” The judge was referring to Mulvaney’s existing job as the federal budget director.
The unusual battle for control of the consumer bureau started on Friday. The agency’s former director, Richard Cordray, appointed Leandra English as deputy director – and contended the appointment made English the acting director until the presidential nomination and Senate approval of a new one.
President Trump, however, countered the move by naming Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a vocal critic of the consumer bureau, as the watchdog’s interim director.
Mulvaney’s installation was meant to serve as an immediate break with the Obama-era leadership, pending the nomination and approval of a permanent director.