We rarely report personnel news outside the Compliance Jobs Report on Fridays, but this one is worth it: President Trump has nominated Walmart’s head of anti-corruption compliance to serve as a federal judge in Arkansas.
The nominee is Lee Rudofsky, who has been Walmart’s head of anti-corruption compliance for one year. Rudofsky also served as an assistant general counsel at Walmart in 2014 and 2015, then did a stint as solicitor general for the state of Arkansas until returning to Walmart last summer in his compliance role.
When Rudofsky’s nomination might move forward in Senate confirmation is unclear. Yes, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made judicial confirmations the most important priority in his leadership (some might say the only priority, while the country otherwise goes to pieces), but the Senate has only a few weeks in session this month before everyone takes off for August recess. So Rudofsky may linger in confirmation limbo well into the fall.
Rudofsky’s compliance chops aside, the rest of his resume also makes him look tailor-made for a bench nomination by a Republican president. He spent six years as an associate at law firm Kirkland & Ellis, home to current Attorney General William Barr and several other senior Justice Department folks. While at Kirkland Rudofsky worked on the team defending BP for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Rudofsky also spent six months as deputy general counsel for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and has donated more than $10,000 to various Republican politicians since 2015, according to OpenSecrets.org.
So a perfectly reasonable candidate for a president like Donald Trump to choose.
I haven’t been keeping formal tabs on compliance officers moving to the federal bench, and don’t know of any others nominated by Trump. Regardless, it’s a good idea. Back in 2016 I even argued, half-seriously, that President Obama should nominate a compliance officer to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
Of course, if Rudofsky does get confirmed to the bench, that presumably means Walmart will have a new opening on its compliance team. The Compliance Jobs Report will remain vigilant to see what happens next.