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Commentary By James R. Copland

MI Responds: Judge Sides with White House on Mulvaney at CFPB

Economics, Governance Finance, Civil Justice

In a welcome decision halting a power grab by Obama administration holdovers, a federal judge has denied a request to prevent Mick Mulvaney from serving as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Up until now, the "resistance" to the Trump administration has amounted to little more than hashtag virtue signaling. On Friday, November 24, that changed, when the outgoing director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, announced he was making his chief of staff, Leandra English, deputy director -- and purporting to block the president's appointment of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney as interim head of the agency.

The spectacle of a lame-duck resigning agency head trying to circumvent clear statutory authority given to the elected president is a fitting end to Mr. Cordray's tenure. Mr. Cordray himself started his job as one of the "recess appointees" President Obama named while the Senate was not in recess, as an attempted end-run around the constitutional confirmation process. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected that gambit, and this latest act of resistance ultimately found itself similarly rejected.

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James R. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.