Leading a 13-state coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in support of President Trump’s legal authority to appoint a temporary director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
In January, a district court sided with President Trump, whose intention is to extend greater oversight of independent federal agencies. Prior to the Trump administration, the CFPB operated as a rogue agency exempt from executive or legislative oversight, even though the rules it creates and enforces have an enormous impact on workplaces across the U.S.
The legal dispute started in November 2016 when CFPB director Richard Cordray abruptly resigned and purported to name his second in command, Leandra English, as acting director. She filed a lawsuit to block President Trump’s temporary appointee, Mick Mulvaney, from replacing her, even though the president’s personnel move is lawful under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
“The existing framework leaves American workplaces vulnerable to rules that may rely on incorrect information and assumptions that are political in nature, inconsistent or not based on expertise,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The CFPB was operating in an unaccountable and unauthorized fashion, and their rogue behavior cannot go unchecked.”
The legality of President Trump’s appointment was confirmed by the White House Counsel’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, the CFPB’s own general counsel, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Twice last year, Attorney General Paxton, leading multi-state coalitions, filed district court briefs to defend President Trump’s legal authority to appoint an acting director of the CFPB. In a separate filing on behalf of 12 states, he challenged the constitutionality of the CFPB and its arbitration rule, which Congress and President Trump ultimately rescinded.