WASHINGTON — A federal judge said Tuesday that he will hear motions Dec. 22 in a case that seeks a preliminary injunction against acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney and would instead install Deputy Director Leandra English as interim head of the agency.

The case comes after D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly — who was appointed to the bench by President Trump — sided with Mulvaney late last month after Richard Cordray abruptly resigned as the bureau's director and tapped English, the deputy director, as his successor.

The Dodd-Frank Act stipulates that the agency’s deputy director shall serve in the “absence or unavailability” of the director, but the White House argued that the law is superseded by the 1998 Vacancies Reform Act, which gives the president the power to name interim heads of executive agencies. English asked the court for an emergency injunction to prevent Mulvaney from assuming the post, but Kelly sided with the White House. He has not yet ruled on the full merits of the case, however.

English will be required to file a motion for a preliminary injunction by Wednesday, Dec. 6, and any amicus briefs to support her must be filed by Friday, Dec. 8. A response from Mulvaney is due on Dec. 18, as are any amicus briefs in support. English’s reply to Mulvaney’s motion will be due Dec. 20.

Most lawyers give English long odds of succeeding, but a ruling against her by Kelly is unlikely to be the end of the case. Her lawyer has indicated that if the decision goes against her, he will appeal.

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