Mick Mulvaney, White House budget chief and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A federal judge in New York ruled on Thursday that structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the watchdog agency created in the aftermath of the 2008 national financial crisis, is unconstitutional.

The details: Judge Loretta Preska wrote that it's unconstitutional that the agency, headed by a director with a five-year term, could be fired by the president only for cause. The Trump administration had insisted that the president should have the authority to remove the agency’s leader at will.

  • This conflicts with a majority ruling in January by the nine-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, which said the watchdog agency director's power is not excessive and the president shouldn't have more authority to fire that person.

The backdrop: The agency has been embroiled in political disarray after its director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, stepped down in November before his five-year term ended. Trump named White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as his replacement, but Leandra English, the agency’s deputy director under Cordray, said she should have been named acting director.

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Updated 51 mins ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 58 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe