The attempted CFPB coup

On November 28, Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied the request by Leandra English for a temporary restraining order to bar John M. Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, from serving as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  An amicus brief was submitted by 25 Democratic senators and congressmen, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Maxine Waters, and former Rep. Barney Frank.  Essentially, the amicus brief argued that the president has no role, notwithstanding the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, in naming the acting director of the agency.  That the brief was filed only on behalf of Democrats seems to question the argument that the legislation was intended to be above politics.

In ruling against English, Judge Kelly pointed out that the Vacancies Reform Act permits the president to name an acting director at the CFPB.  English, named acting director by the outgoing director, Richard Cordray, contended that Dodd-Frank mandates that the acting director be named by the departing director, pending presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., writing in the Wall Street Journal, November 29, called attention to one artful method employed by the agency: fabricating "evidence of racial disparity in auto lending to shake money out of lenders."  Jenkins noted that the agency had no authority to go after auto dealers and so put pressure on banks instead.  Jenkins referred to the appointment of English as acting director as a "power grab of the [Elizabeth] Warren junta."  Thus far, Judge Kelly has stymied this "power grab."

On November 28, Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied the request by Leandra English for a temporary restraining order to bar John M. Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, from serving as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  An amicus brief was submitted by 25 Democratic senators and congressmen, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Maxine Waters, and former Rep. Barney Frank.  Essentially, the amicus brief argued that the president has no role, notwithstanding the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, in naming the acting director of the agency.  That the brief was filed only on behalf of Democrats seems to question the argument that the legislation was intended to be above politics.

In ruling against English, Judge Kelly pointed out that the Vacancies Reform Act permits the president to name an acting director at the CFPB.  English, named acting director by the outgoing director, Richard Cordray, contended that Dodd-Frank mandates that the acting director be named by the departing director, pending presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., writing in the Wall Street Journal, November 29, called attention to one artful method employed by the agency: fabricating "evidence of racial disparity in auto lending to shake money out of lenders."  Jenkins noted that the agency had no authority to go after auto dealers and so put pressure on banks instead.  Jenkins referred to the appointment of English as acting director as a "power grab of the [Elizabeth] Warren junta."  Thus far, Judge Kelly has stymied this "power grab."