A recent court ruling has cast some doubt over whether the recently renominated Richard Cordray will continue to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The ruling, filed by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, deemed recess appointments unconstitutional and Cordray, you may recall, was confirmed via such an appointment by President Barack Obama back in January 2012 after an attempt at a Senate confirmation was filibustered.
The White House is expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, meaning an actual ousting from office is not imminent. But, even prior to the decision, Cordray's status at the CFPB remained murky. His recess appointment expires at the end of this year and the road to a second confirmation was expected to be just as contentious as the first.
This is largely due to the fact that Republicans oppose the idea of a director in general, believing the position puts unprecedented power in the hands of a single individual. They also take issue with the fact that the CFPB is, as this letter Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently sent to President Obama notes, "insulated from Congressional oversight of its action and its budget."
There's been some speculation the court ruling will lead Democrats to strike a deal with Republicans, but most compromise scenarios would involve some kind of leadership for the CFPB. The most likely deal, for instance, involves replacing the director with a five-member commission.
Who these members would be is up for debate. Many obvious candidates have effectively taken themselves out of the running. Cordray's second-in-command Raj Date left the bureau last Thursday and CFPB founder Elizabeth Warren is currently serving on the Senate Banking committee.
If Cordray is, in fact, on his way out, who should take his job? Or, alternately, if a deal is struck between Democrats and Republicans to create a commission, who should chair it? What makes this person a good candidate? Let us know in the comments below.