The White House said late Monday that President Barack Obama has made two choices for the Federal Trade Commission: a business litigator from Los Angeles who worked on his presidential campaign and a consumer protection regulator who spent most of her career in Vermont.
They are Obama's first nominees for the commission, which has a central role in antitrust enforcement and consumer protection. Obama nominated Jon Leibowitz for chairman of the commission in February, and the Senate confirmed him, but Leibowitz had already been an FTC commissioner since 2004. The FTC’s other sitting commissioners are appointees of George W. Bush, so the latest nominees would give the five-member board a Democratic majority.
One nominee, Julie Brill, was Vermont’s assistant attorney general for consumer protection and antitrust from 1988 until this year, when she took a similar position with the North Carolina Department of Justice. She is a resident of both states, the White House said, and she’s been a lecturer at Columbia Law School.
Brill (Princeton, NYU Law) started her law career as an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York. She was Vermont’s lead tobacco lawyer, according to a 2001 article in the New York Law Journal, a sister publication of The National Law Journal.
Obama’s other nominee, Edith Ramirez, is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges. According to her firm bio, she has specialized in antitrust matters and intellectual property. Her clients have included Mattel, Walt Disney, and Scotts Lawn and Garden.
Ramirez (Harvard, Harvard Law) was a year behind Obama at Harvard Law School, and she was Obama’s deputy political director in California during his presidential campaign. She was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1993 to 1996.