US appeals court gives victory to consumer finance agency

Friday, January 26, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 4

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has handed a victory to the government's beleaguered consumer finance watchdog agency, ruling that its director's power isn't excessive and the president shouldn't have freer rein to fire that person.

The decision came Wednesday in the politically charged case involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The nine-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a 2016 ruling by a smaller panel that would have made it easier for President Donald Trump to fire then-CFPB director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee.

The decision comes as the agency is engulfed in turmoil and confusion. Cordray stepped down in November and Trump named White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting CFPB director. Mulvaney has moved to soften agency regulations and slash its funding.