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Judge Again Backs White House in CFPB Leadership Fight

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal (Jan. 11, Hayashi) reports, a federal judge sided with the White House for a second time in a battle over the control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), denying a request for a preliminary injunction filed by an Obama-era official. "Leandra English, the agency's deputy director, has sought to unseat Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director named by President Trump in November as the agency's interim chief," notes the Journal. She has argued that she is the rightful acting director, having been selected by former Director Richard Cordray, a Barack Obama appointee, as his temporary successor. Judge Timothy J. Kelly, though, has decreed that English has not met the standard to obtain a preliminary injunction. "The Court finds that English is not likely to succeed on the merits of her claims, nor is she likely to suffer irreparable harm absent the injunctive relief sought," he wrote in his opinion. "Moreover, the balance of the equities and the public interest also weigh against granting the relief."

The Los Angeles Times (Jan. 11, Puzzanghera) notes that the ruling came after Kelly denied a request by English a month ago for a temporary restraining order to remove Mulvaney and install her as acting director. That decision could not be appealed. Consequently, English’s lawyer, Deepak Gupta, filed for a preliminary injunction. Kelly heard almost two hours of testimony and arguments on the injunction Dec. 22. "We are disappointed in today's decision," Gupta remarked late Wednesday. "Mr. Mulvaney's appointment undermines the bureau's independence and threatens its mission to protect American consumers."