Kate Berry, American Banker

Richard Cordray’s recess appointment as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a year ago is being called into question after an appeals court ruling Friday invalidated President Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that Obama did not have the authority on Jan. 4, 2012 when he filled three recess appointments to the NLRB. On that same day last year, Obama appointed Cordray to the CFPB, even though the Senate was still in what is called a “pro forma” session.

Senate Republicans have fiercely opposed Cordray’s appointment and on Friday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement that the appeals court decision “now casts serious doubt on whether the President’s ‘recess’ appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau… is constitutional.”

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