Last week, President Trump nominated four new commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”): Joseph J. Simons, an antitrust attorney, as Chairman; Noah Joshua Phillips, chief counsel for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), for the second Republican seat; Christine Wilson, an executive for Delta Air Lines, for the third Republican seat; and Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, for a Democratic seat. By statute, no more than three commissioners may be members of the same political party. The fifth spot on the Commission would remain vacant pending an additional nomination by the President.
If confirmed by the Senate, these four nominees would establish a Republican majority at the FTC. Since early last year, the agency has been operating with just one Commissioner from each party – Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen and Democratic Commissioner Terrell McSweeny. Earlier in the week, President Trump also announced his intent to nominate Acting Chairman Ohlhausen for a seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Therefore, these new nominations would completely change the composition of the Commission.