Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Gordon

Though Cordray’s initial recess appointment to head the CFPB was invalid, his later regular appointment was proper and his later ratification of acts taken during the recess appointment period is sufficient to validate acts the CFPB took during that period.  This decision holds that while President Obama’s initial recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB was invalid, Obama’s later regular appointment of Cordray, who was confirmed by the Senate, was valid.  The CFPB existed during the invalid Cordray recess appointment and had been granted authority by Congress to prosecute cases for violation of various consumer protection statutes.  So when Cordray was appropriately appointed the second time, he could and did ratify the CFPB’s prior actions.  This was sufficient to allow the action against these defendants for a mortgage foreclosure avoidance scam to proceed though it was commenced during the recess appointment.  The summary judgment in the CFPB’s favor is affirmed as defendant raised no triable issue of fact and did not rebut the evidence that they had collected $11 million from consumers through their scam.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Owens, J.; Ikuta, J., dissenting); April 14, 2016; 2016 WL 1459205

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