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Documents reveal CFPB’s Cordray doubtful of his appointment’s constitutionality

Richard Cordray

Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, announced on Thursday that recently obtained documents hint that Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, may have doubts about the constitutionality of his appointment.

In January, President Obama used his power of recess appointments to install Cordray as the CFPB director and three other individuals to the National Labor Relations Board. Critics of the appointments said that the Senate was not in recess and, therefore, the presidential appointments are invalid.

JW obtained records under the Freedom of Information Act that reveal that Cordray knew his appointment to the position of CFPB director could be challenged.

“There is a chance (a minor chance in my view, though everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion) that the appointment could be invalidated by a court,” Cordray said in a February CFPB staff meeting. “[T]he fact that this appointment is for two years (and in some conceivable circumstances it could be shorter) does matter in one important respect…This time period should give to each one of us, and not only me, a fierce urgency to accomplish the work we are doing together.”

Tom Fitton, the president of JW, spoke on Cordray’s revelations and their significance.

“Many have doubts about the constitutionality of Richard Cordray’s appointment,” Fitton said. “Now we know those doubts are shared by Cordray himself. These astonishing documents provide further evidence that Obama’s recess appointment of Cordray was an abuse of office.”

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