Judge sides with Trump’s pick to take over consumer agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump scored a victory Tuesday when a federal judge refused to block the president’s choice to temporarily run the nation’s top consumer financial watchdog and, for the moment, ended a two-way battle for leadership of the agency.

Judge Timothy Kelly declined to stop the Republican president from putting Mick Mulvaney in place as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In doing so, Kelly ruled against Leandra English, the bureau’s deputy director, who had requested an emergency restraining order to stop Mulvaney from becoming the acting director.

Mulvaney and English had claimed to be the rightful acting director, each citing different federal laws. The leadership crisis developed over the weekend after the bureau’s permanent director, Richard Cordray, resigned and appointed English as his successor. Shortly afterward, the White House announced that Mulvaney, currently budget director, would take over the bureau on an interim basis.

The judge’s ruling Tuesday is not the final decision in the case. But in making his decision, the judge said that English had not shown a substantial likelihood that she eventually would succeed on the merits of her case. The judge’s decision is not immediately appealable.

The judge was nominated by Trump and was confirmed by the majority-Republican Senate in September.

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