Obama Nominee Richard Cordray Reignites Conservative Ire

Last week, President Barack Obama renominated Richard Cordray as director of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a move that has reignited conservative opposition to the unconstitutional agency.

On January 4, 2012, Obama installed Cordray through a highly controversial recess appointment after Republicans opposed the agency’s creation and funding structure.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called the move an “extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab.”

Senate Republicans vehemently opposed Obama’s recess appointment maneuver as well.  “In unilaterally making appointments to the CFPB and NLRB while the Senate was holding pro-forma sessions, President Obama has nonetheless attempted to fabricate a constructive, inferred, or imputed recess,” wrote Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in a Forbes article last year.  “Not only are President Obama’s January 4, 2012 appointments unconstitutional, but the justification for those actions does great violence to the Constitution’s separation of powers and system of checks and balances.”

Whether Republicans can mount a successful opposition to the Cordray renomination remains to be seen.  However, as Breitbart News legal correspondent Ken Klukowski reported today, a top federal appeals court has struck down three of Obama’s presidential appointees, placing Cordray in jeopardy as well.

The head of the controversial new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by Dodd-Frank, Richard Cordray, was also installed as one of these non-recess appointments. While the D.C. Circuit did not address that appointment, it is now clear that Cordray’s appointment was also unconstitutional, and so he too will be removed from power and all his actions to date nullified. Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray—a very well-respected D.C. lawyer—currently has a lawsuit against CFPB, where this decision will secure his victory on part of his case.  

This recess-appointment issue will now likely go to the Supreme Court, where it is likely to suffer the same fate.  

On Thursday, Obama praised the controversial CFPB and its chief: “Over the last year, Richard has proved to be a champion of American consumers… Thanks to his leadership, we’ve made it tougher for families to be tricked into mortgages they can’t afford.”

Look for Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), the committee that will hold hearings on the Cordray nomination, to play a pivotal role in the Obama nominee's political fate. 


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