Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today led a coalition of 13 states in filing a friend-of-the-court brief that supports President Trump’s authority to appoint temporary leadership at the nation’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed.
In the brief, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts maintain that the president’s personnel move is fully authorized under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
“Longstanding legal precedent supports the president’s designation of Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB and ensures a smooth transition of leadership at a rogue agency that has been operating all along as an unaccountable, unauthorized separate branch of government,” Attorney General Paxton said.
Last month, the CFPB’s director resigned and attempted to appoint his own successor, who subsequently filed a lawsuit to block President Trump’s temporary appointee. The 13-state coalition filed an amicus brief in that case, and a U.S. District Court judge sided with the president.
In her amended lawsuit against President Trump and Acting Director Mulvaney, Obama-era CFPB holdover Leandra English claims that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act – which created the agency – gave her former boss the power to let her take over as acting director. But the legality of President Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney was confirmed by the White House counsel’s office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the CFPB’s own general counsel.
Other state attorneys general who joined the Texas- and West Virginia-led brief are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.
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of Texas challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB and its controversial Arbitration Rule, which President Trump repealed on November 1 after it was revoked by Congress.