The U.S. Senate is in no hurry to consider President Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray to a full term as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If a long-running dispute over the agency’s structure isn’t resolved by the end of the year, Mr. Cordray may have to leave the CFPB.

A federal court ruling overturning the President’s recess appointments to a federal labor panel has also cast doubt on the status of Mr. Cordray, who was appointed to the CFPB in similar fashion.

If the Senate fails to confirm Mr. Cordray before he has to leave, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew could assume many of his duties, said Alan S. Kaplinsky, who heads Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group and represents clients before the CFPB. “This uncertainty is going to persist for quite some period of time,” Mr. Kaplinsky said.

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Consumer Financial Services