Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Varney Confirmed by Senate to Head Department of Justice Antitrust Division

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

The U.S. Senate on April 20 confirmed the nomination of Christine Anne Varney to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Eighty-seven senators voted to confirm Varney. Only one, Senator Jim Bunning (Kentucky), voted no, with 11 senators not voting.

Varney will return to government service after more than a decade as a partner at Hogan & Hartson’s Washington, D.C. office. There she headed up the firm’s Internet Practice Group. She also recently served on President Barack Obama’s transition team.

During the Clinton Administration, Varney was an FTC Commissioner from 1994 to 1997. Prior to becoming an FTC Commissioner, Varney was Secretary to the Cabinet.

Varney received her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1986. She received her M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1978, and her B.A. from The State University of New York, University at Albany in 1977.

Varney’s nomination was announced on January 22, along with three other assistant attorney general nominees: David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Division; and Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for Criminal. West and Breuer were also confirmed by the Senate on April 20. Kris was confirmed on March 25.

In an April 20 news release, announcing the confirmations on April 20, Attorney General Eric Holder said: “These exceptional individuals will help lead the Department with dedication, sound judgment and integrity, whether it’s aggressively enforcing the antitrust laws, overseeing civil enforcement in the Department’s largest litigation division, or combating traditional crimes such as financial fraud or drug trafficking.”

He added, “I look forward to working with them to advance the interests of justice on behalf of the American people.”

A report on Varney's testimony at a Senate Judiary Committee confirmation hearing (Trade Regulation Talk, March 11, 2009) appears here.

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