A federal judge on Tuesday sided with President Donald Trump in a dispute over two bosses who showed up to work at a government agency tasked with protecting the interests of consumers.
Leandra English, who had been the deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), sued to stop Trump’s appointment of Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to run the agency until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement for former director Richard Cordray.
“Denying the president’s authority to appoint Mr. Mulvaney raises significant constitutional questions,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said, according to USA Today.
Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, praised the judge’s ruling.
“Judge Kelly got it 100 percent correct when he affirmed that President Trump’s authority under federal law to appoint Mick Mulvaney to be the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would likely prevail in a full court hearing,” he said in a statement. “Former agency Director Richard Cordray’s political power grab would effectively set the precedent that appointed bureaucrats could choose their successors without any input from elected officials.”
Kelly’s ruling comes hours after left-wing activists rallied in Washington, labeling Mulvaney an “impostor” and characterizing his appointment as an attempted “administrative coup.”
English had argued that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act creating the agency mandates that the deputy director become the acting director in the event of a vacancy at the top. Opponents argued that position conflicts with the pre-existing Vacancies Reform Act and that the Constitution vests all executive power in the president.
Kelly sided with Mulvaney and also ruled that there is nothing in the law that would prohibit him from running the agency and serving as budget director at the same time.
Liberals were particularly incensed at the prospect of Mulvaney’s running the agency since as a member of Congress, he was a vociferous critic of it. He once called it a “sad, sick joke.”
Mulvaney’s first act Monday was to order a 30-day hiring freeze and a temporary halt on issuing new rules or making payments from a civil penalties fund.