A federal court ruling last month, which denied CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English's request to block Mulvaney from assuming the directorship, was widely seen in the media as legitimizing Trump's appointment of Mulvaney and ending English's challenge. But that decision pertained to a temporary restraining order, and the court has not yet ruled on the merits of the case. English's lawyers filed a request for a preliminary injunction last week, and U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, set a December 22 hearing date for oral arguments. The ruling could come any time after that.


In one of the briefs, more than 30 current and former members of Congress, including Dodd-Frank architects Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, wrote that they intended the deputy director to take over in the absence of the director to insulate the CFPB from politics. "In creating the Bureau, lawmakers determined that it needed to be independent in order to fulfill its mission," the amici argued. Indeed, legislative history shows that Congress considered making the CFPB subject to the FVRA standard, but then rejected that approach, a position that the legislators who actually authored the law reinforce.


nd because the CFPB director also serves on the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Trump has illegally brought a White House official into those venues as well, Conti-Brown charged.

These allegations about the legality of the Mulvaney appointment also show up in a second lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union in a U.S. District Court in New York. The credit union asserts that Mulvaney cannot serve as acting director and that English, instead, has the legal right to do so. "An Acting Director with no lawful authority to regulate the Credit Union is now regulating the Credit Union," the plaintiffs allege, causing what they say is direct harm to the business.


In the meantime, the legal uncertainty and the scrutiny of Mulvaney's actions has forced him to change course on some decisions and proposals he previously made. He initially froze all payments to fraud victims. But after an outcry, he reversed himself two days later, allowing payments to be disbursed.

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