Deepak Gupta had uttered just a few words Thursday morning, diving into his argument for why White House budget director Mick Mulvaney could not lawfully serve as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s interim leader, when he found himself in a familiar position for a lawyer in Washington’s federal appeals court: interrupted by a judge.

Judge Thomas Griffith questioned whether Gupta’s client, CFPB deputy director Leandra English, could take the director’s chair in the event that she prevails in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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