A U.S. district court on Tuesday denied a temporary restraining order to prevent President Donald Trump from naming an interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A lawsuit requesting the temporary restraining order was filed by Leandra English, an Obama-era appointee and deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who claims to be the rightful acting director the agency.
On Tuesday, Judge Timothy Kelly said the agency was part of the executive branch and he saw nothing in the law that prevented budget director Mick Mulvaney from holding the two positions.
The Trump administration had warned that granting English's order would be an extraordinary intrusion into the executive branch and harm the agency.
English was tapped on Friday by outgoing CFPB Director Richard Cordray, a Democrat appointed by the Obama administration, to lead the agency until a new director was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, a process that could take months.
Hours later, Trump said Mulvaney would lead the agency on an interim basis, sparking an unprecedented showdown.
The CFPB was created to crack down on predatory financial practices after the 2007-2009 financial crisis, but it is reviled by Republicans who say it is too powerful.
Trump has long sought to weaken or abolish the 1,600-employee agency, saying too many regulations are suffocating lending.
Democrats say the agency needs to oversee consumer financial products such as mortgages and have power over large non-bank financial companies to protect borrowers.
On Tuesday, English was at work at CFPB headquarters "taking calls and meetings with external stakeholders and bureau staff."
Mulvaney again on Tuesday told CFPB staff to "disregard" instructions from English, who he said had sent at least one additional email on Tuesday "purporting to act as the Acting Director."