Consumer Product Safety Commission

Yesterday, President Donald Trump nominated Peter Feldman to fill the fifth and final spot as Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The nomination is to fill the vacancy left by past Commissioner Joe Mohorovic, who resigned from the Commission in October 2017.  If confirmed, Feldman’s term would expire on October 26, 2019, however it would be expected that President Trump would re-nominate Feldman for an additional seven year term in the future. Continue Reading President Trump Nominates Peter Feldman as CPSC Commissioner Signaling First Republican Majority at Commission Since 2006

On Friday, February 16, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that it had voted 3-1 (along party lines) to authorize CPSC staff to file an administrative complaint against Britax Child Safety, Inc., (“Britax”) a global manufacturer of car seats, strollers, and other juvenile products. In its Complaint, CPSC alleges certain models of Britax’s B.O.B. jogging strollers contain a design defect which results in stroller wheel detachments.  The Complaint seeks an order finding that the strollers present a substantial product hazard and directing Britax take action to recall the products, among other things.

One aspect of this case that’s especially noteworthy is that it was opposed by Republican Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, who is President Trump’s nominee for permanent Chairman. The three Commissioners who voted affirmatively are all Democratic Commissioners who, as a supermajority, still have control over many areas of the agency over one year into the Trump administration.

As we have written about previously, the Democratic Commissioners will continue to hold a majority until the confirmation of Republican Commissioner nominee Dana Baiocco. Of course, it is difficult to say how the composition of the Commission could have shaped the outcome of this vote, considering that the Zen Magnets litigation was only possible because a Republican Commissioner voted in favor of authorizing that Complaint while the Commission was composed of two Republicans and two Democrats in 2012. Continue Reading CPSC Sues Britax over Stroller Wheel Detachments

This morning at the CPSC’s public hearing Commissioner Joe Mohorovic announced that he would be resigning from his position as a Commissioner, effective Friday, October 20th. Mohorovic announced that he would be joining the law firm Dentons.

While Acting Chairman Buerkle remains at the helm of the agency, Mohorovic’s absence will mean an unprecedented Democratic 3-1 majority at the Commission with a Minority Chairman. While Mohorovic’s resignation allows President Trump to nominate a third CPSC Commissioner in as many months, it likely will take months to get all three nominees confirmed by the Senate. Continue Reading Breaking: Republican Commissioner Mohorovic Departing the CPSC; Acting Chairman Buerkle Now Sole Republican in 3-1 Democratic Majority

Today, President Trump announced his nomination of Dana Baiocco to be a Republican Commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If confirmed, Ms. Baiocco would take the seat of Commissioner Robinson, whose term expires on October 26, 2017.

Baiocco is a well-known litigator and partner at Jones Day in Boston, Massachusetts. She is also familiar with the world of product safety. Baiocco’s product safety experience includes extensive product-liability litigation, having defended many major consumer product companies. Ms. Baiocco’s biography can be found here.

The nomination is surely a welcome one for Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, who is currently operating with a Democratic majority and, until today, uncertainty surrounding when that would change. The nomination signals the White House’s intent to achieve a Republican majority at the CPSC and curtail the agency’s steady push of Democratic initiatives along 3-2 party line votes.

Notably, the nomination comes at the same time the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced that it will hold a confirmation hearing on September 27, 2017 for Acting Chairman Buerkle to become the permanent Chairman of the CPSC. If both Buerkle and Baiocco are confirmed, the agency would reflect the composition of the current executive and legislative landscape, with a Republican Chairman and a Republican majority of Commissioners.

Below is more information from the White House Press Release:

 

Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety CommissionYesterday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the re-nomination of Robert Adler to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  If cloture is invoked—meaning three-fifths of the full Senate, or 60 votes, supports the attempt for cloture (assuming the “nuclear option” is not used)—the Senate will proceed to vote on the Adler nomination on or about Tuesday, December 2.  The nominee is then confirmed by a majority vote.  It is worth noting that the invocation of cloture and confirmation of Commissioner Adler is not a given in the current post-election political climate and after the President’s speech on immigration reform last night.  As our readers will recall from a previous blog post, while the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted Commissioner Adler’s nomination out of committee in July, seven Republican Senators reportedly voted no. Continue Reading Cloture Filed on Adler Nomination; Burgess Named Subcommittee Chairman