A federal appeals court on Tuesday agreed to expedite the appeal brought by Leandra English, the deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who has sought to unseat acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

Last month, District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied English's temporary restraining order against Mulvaney, thereby ruling that the Trump administration appointee, who also directs the White House Office of Management and Budget, was the legal interim head of the CFPB.

The ruling on Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted English's motion to expedite her appeal of Kelly's decision. The case will be heard by a three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit, with briefs expected to be filed by Jan. 30.

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney
An appeals court Tuesday said it would expedite the appeal of a ruling that backed Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB. Bloomberg News

"It's a sign that the court sees the importance of the issue and that the issue of the interim leadership of the bureau is not settled," said Richard Horn, of Richard Horn Legal, who is a former CFPB senior counsel and special adviser.

English sued President Trump and Mulvaney in late November to block Mulvaney from running the agency, arguing that she was the rightful acting director of the bureau as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. The lawsuit was filed by English herself, not the CFPB, which supported the Trump administration's position.

The case arose after Richard Cordray abruptly resigned as director of the CFPB over Thanksgiving weekend and appointed English as acting director, claiming that Dodd-Frank allowed him to name an interim head in the director's absence. Trump named Mulvaney to the job on the same day, claiming he had broad authority to do so under the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

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