A federal judge held an emergency hearing but declined to rule immediately on Monday afternoon to prohibit President Trump from installing an interim director in the Office of Consumer Financial Protection in place of the agency's No. 2 leader, a remnant of the Obama administration.
EE. UU US District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington heard arguments from the deputy director of the office, Leandra English, who filed a lawsuit on Sunday calling herself "legitimate director" in accordance with a 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which established the influential surveillance agency.
Kelly said he would wait until government lawyers complemented his arguments in a 40-minute hearing by filing a formal and written response Monday night defending the election of Trump, the director of the Office of Management and Budget of the White House, Mick Mulvaney, whose appointment they said authorized under a previous law of 1988 that regulates the presidential vacancies in general.
Kelly, confirmed in September and one of Trump's two nominees serving in DC's federal court, said he would notify both parties on Tuesday "where we're going from there."  From the left, Leandra English, who was elevated to interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Office by her outgoing director, meets with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mbad., To discuss the fight for control over the fate of the American consumer after President Donald Trump elected White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, for the same office, on Capitol Hill, Washington , on Monday, November 27. 2017. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
The hearing was given at the end of a day in row of mourning actions by rival candidates seeking to run the office . The CFPB was created after the financial crisis to target unfair or abusive practices by financial institutions that offer consumer products, including credit cards, mortgages and loans.
Republicans have tried to control the agency for years as part of efforts to roll back banking industry regulations, saying they are not accountable to elected officials and hurt economic growth by unfairly charging companies.
The Trump administration had the opportunity to seize control on Friday, when veteran director Richard Cordray resigned and promoted his chief of staff, English to deputy director, saying that she would serve as acting director until the Senate confirmed her permanent replacement.
Trump hours later announced that Mulvaney would take the job.
[ Waging fight over consumer watchdog agency with doughnuts, well-wishes, two acting directors try to take command]
Democrats and consumer advocates have supported CFPB's aggressive actions against large financial institutions, and in their lawsuit, English said that Congress He wanted the office to be independent of the White House's political pressure
When Kelly asked him why the court should take the "extraordinary remedy" to prevent the president from exercising the power of his position, the lawyer of English said: "I do not deny that it is extraordinary, this is an extraordinary case."
The English lawyer, Deepak Gupta, a former chief litigating attorney of the office, argued that the English appropriately badumed under an explicit succession plan established by the Dodd Law. Frank when he created the CFPB, providing for a deputy to serve as interim director until a successor is confirmed.
The appointment of Mulvaney, a "sitting White House official" and an open critic of the office, to lead the agency would go against the intent of Congress and explicit provisions, Gupta said
Gupta said that English did not ask that the president be prohibited from appointing a new office manager subject to confirmation by the Senate, but that he be prevented from "naming or recognizing" a temporary boss, and that Mulvaney be prohibited from taking charge.
Gupta asked the judge to rule as quickly as possible in a way that can be appealed immediately. "Everyone should know who is the director of the office," said Gupta.
Gupta said that English also conducted business in the offices on Monday, entering the office on Monday morning, sending emails to employees and meeting with legislators such as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mbad.) AND Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in her capacity as interim director during the afternoon.
Arguing for the government, Brett Shumate, deputy badistant attorney general for federal programs, said the Federal Vacancies Act, enacted in 1988, granted the president the authority to appoint Mulvaney, citing a memo Friday from the Office of Legal Advice of the Department of Justice, and a memorandum distributed on Monday by the current attorney general of the department.
Mulvaney was in the office on Monday, issuing orders, meeting with senior badistants and reviewing information materials about the transition, Shumate said, and imposing a different leader by a judge would only cause more confusion and disruption.
When Kelly asked him if the government would agree that no English would be dismissed to eliminate some of the urgency of the matter, Shumate said he could not "give any statement or guarantee on that point."