Is a Black Woman Nominated for SEC Commission Being Blocked by Schumer?

Is a Black Woman Nominated for SEC Commission Being Blocked by Schumer?

Professor Lisa Fairfax of The George Washington University School of Law. Courtesy of

The nomination of Lisa Fairfax.  Black advocates need to wake up.  Strange inexplicable things happen at the end of a Congress, and this Congress is rushing to get done so Republicans can return to privative Social Security and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

One of the stranger things happening at the end of the 114th Congress in the U.S. Senate is the blocking of the nomination of Lisa Fairfax to serve on the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Fairfax was nominated along with GOP pick Hester Pierce back in June and since then there has been a confusing delay — a delay that is said to be the fault of Senate Democrats.  It’s hard to tell these days what’s really going on.

If Senate Democrats are blocking Fairfax, that’s a very interesting political move when you consider that Donald Trump’s decisions regarding who should sit on the SEC are likely to be quite different than nominees such as Fairfax and Pierce.  

Also for Democrats, the political realm. Does it matter that African American women voted 94% for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, on November 8th? Does it matter to Democrats that Lisa Fairfax is a graduate of Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law and was a former high-level securities attorney and is now a securities scholar and law professor at George Washington University? 

Apparently none of this matters to someone in the U.S. Senate who has a hold on Fairfax’s nomination in the final days of the 114th Congress.  Word on the street is that the hold is being put on by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who represents more African Americans than any other member of Congress.  Schumer is said to be a Harvard obsessive when it comes to hiring so one would think that Fairfax would fit right in. Fairfax would be the second Black female SEC Commissioner and the third overall in the SEC’s 80+ year history.

Perhaps if Black civil rights groups and advocacy groups were awake they would call Schumer’s office and ask him what the holdup is on the nomination of Lisa Fairfax. Chances are the stated reason will be quite different than the real reasons. That’s the way it easy when Wall Street owns politicians and members of Congress dodge questions from reporters in hallways.  We live in a political universe where every elected official denies they’re being influenced by money while at the same time their decisions line up exactly with their donors. Funny how that happens.  

The Security and Exchange Commission holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws and proposed rules for securities markets in the U.S.

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke