Co-leading a coalition of eight states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia defending President Trump’s legal authority to name an acting director of the federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed.
Last Friday, the CFPB’s director resigned and named his own replacement, who subsequently filed a lawsuit to block President Trump’s temporary appointee. In his friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton argues that the president’s action is in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
“Federal law is on President Trump’s side and the legality of his appointment of Mick Mulvaney to the CFPB was confirmed by the White House counsel’s office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the CFPB’s own general counsel,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The CFPB was unlawfully constituted around an unelected and unaccountable director who ran it as an unauthorized separate branch of government, which is an open invitation for abuses of power. President Trump recognizes that the structure of the CFPB begs checks and balances.”
The CFPB, established in 2010 as an independent agency through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, gets its budget from the Federal Reserve and is not subject to approval or disapproval by Congress. It has no board or group of commissions, and its director can unilaterally enforce 19 different federal laws, covering everything from home finance and student loans to credit cards and banking practices.
West Virginia co-led the brief with Texas, and they were joined by the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Yesterday, a coalition of states sent a letter to President Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions affirming their support of the president’s decisive action on the CFPB.
In October, Attorney General Paxton led a 12-state coalition that filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB and its controversial Arbitration Rule, which President Trump repealed on November 1 after it was revoked by Congress.