Federal District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, has ruled in favor of Trump in the dispute over who is the rightful acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Outgoing director Richard Cordray named his successor, Leandra English, on Friday. Immediately thereafter, Trump announced he was going to install his lackey, budget director Mick Mulvaney.
English sued, citing the Dodd-Frank act that created the bureau, and the succession directions laid out in it. Trump argued that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act gave him the ability to install a director.
“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.
By allowing the president to unilaterally appoint a director, Kelly is denying the Senate’s authority to confirm appointees, which is also a significant constitutional question. This will almost certainly be appealed by English, so it’s far from over.