By Chris Bruce
The Dodd-Frank Act was crafted to avoid the kind of leadership tug-of-war that’s now playing out over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the two principal architects of the 2010 statute said Nov. 30.
Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said succession provisions in Dodd-Frank should control an ongoing dispute over who is the rightful interim leader of the CFPB ( English v. Trump , D.D.C., 17-cv-02534, briefing deadline proposed 11/29/17 ).
“We were thinking about exactly the situation we find ourselves in today,” Dodd said in a call with reporters.
Leandra English, the CFPB’s former chief of staff, was tapped as deputy director in a last-minute Nov. 24 appointment by departing CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
English says a plan of succession under Dodd-Frank means that she’s now the rightful acting director, but the Trump administration disagrees, saying the Federal Vacancies Reform Act allows the president to appoint budget director Mick Mulvaney.
Although English Nov. 28 lost a bid to temporarily block Mulvaney from taking the post, Dodd and Frank said she should prevail on the merits of the case. Dodd, joined by Frank and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House financial services panel, said Dodd-Frank’s succession provisions were deliberately crafted as part of a broader effort to ensure that the CFPB could operate as an independent consumer protection agency even with a change at the top.
Dodd called the situation at issue in the case the “exact fact situation that provoked us to write the statute as we did.”
The two former lawmakers were joined by two law profesosors who also said Dodd-Frank should control the case, and Brianna Gorod, a lawyer at the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington who prepared a friend of the court brief in support of English on behalf of current and former members of Congress.
Gorod said the focus of the case could soon change. Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Nov. 28 denied English’s motion for an emergency temporary restraining order.
The case is now likely to go forward either on a motion by English for a preliminary injunction, or by focusing on the merits of the legal questions themselves, or some combination of the two. Kelly has given both sides until Dec. 1 to submit a briefing schedule, depending on how English chooses to go forward.
The main point, according to Gorod, is that Kelly hasn’t yet issued a ruling on the merits. That’s still ahead, she said on the call. “The legal fight here is far from over,” Gorod told reporters. Once the court considers the case on that basis, she said, “it will and should conclude that Leandra English is the current acting director of the Bureau.”
Also on the call were Michael Barr, dean of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a former Treasury Department official who helped draft Dodd-Frank, and Peter H. Schuck of Yale Law School. They also said the Dodd-Frank succession provisions were meant to govern in such cases.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)