TOPEKA, Kansas (Legal Newsline) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Dec. 20 that he has joined 12 other attorneys general in filing a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that only the president has the legal authority to select the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The coalition of attorneys general say the president is given sole authority to appoint the CFPB’s acting director by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. According to the coalition, the CFPB director wields a vast amount of power and that U.S. Supreme Court precedence dictates someone in such a role must be nominated by the president. The coalition urges the court to see Leandra English’s attempt to secure and hold the position of acting director as illegal.
“The CFPB wields sweeping power over the actions of millions of Americans,” the attorneys general wrote in their filing. “As a panel of the D.C. Circuit recently observed, ‘the director of the CFPB possesses more unilateral authority – that is, authority to take action on one’s own, subject to no check – than any single commissioner or board member in any other independent agency in the U.S. government.’ Any federal official who wields that level of power should be selected by the president – not by an unaccountable federal bureaucrat.”