English Seeks Expedited Appeal in CFPB Leadership Contest

By Chris Bruce

Leandra English wants a federal appeals court to quickly consider a ruling denying her bid to unseat White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s acting head.

In a Jan. 10 decision, Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied her motion for a preliminary injunction, rejecting an array of arguments by English and holding she’s not likely to prevail on the merits of the case.

Ex-bureau director Richard Cordray named English as CFPB deputy director before he stepped down Nov. 24. English says the Dodd-Frank Act operated to automatically make her acting director until the Senate confirms a permanent director. President Donald Trump named Mulvaney acting director Nov. 25 under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

In a notice of appeal filed Jan. 12 in the district court, English’s lawyers said the case presents the “extraordinary circumstances” that justify a fast-track review by the appeals court. English’s lawyers cited her entitlement “by law” to serve as acting director, the “usurpation” of her position at the CFPB with the appointment of Mulvaney, and the “urgent public need for clarity” about who serves as acting director.

Donald C. Lampe, a partner with Morrison & Foerster in Washington who represents financial institutions, said English may face an uphill battle. “The trial judge carefully and thoughtfully rejected Ms. English’s arguments for temporary relief and it is difficult to envision how the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would find differently,” Lampe told Bloomberg Law.

Case: English v. Trump , D.D.C., 17-cv-02534, notice of appeal 1/12/18 .

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at cbruce@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at mferullo@bloomberglaw.com

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