President Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate election law attorney Dara Lindenbaum to serve as the top elections money regulator at the Federal Elections Commission.
Ms. Lindenbaum will be nominated to serve as a commissioner on the FEC’s six-member panel. It is comprised of four commissioners, a vice chair and a chair.
The FEC oversees federal campaign finance laws and has been under pressure in recent years to crack down on the influence of money in politics. That goal was complicated by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which enabled corporations and other outside groups to spend unlimited funds on election advertising.
Ms. Lindenbaum would replace Steven Walther, an independent who was nominated by former President George W. Bush. Although Mr. Walther was an independent, he typically sided with the FEC’s Democratic appointments, so Ms. Lindenbaum’s confirmation would be unlikely to change the commission’s makeup.
The commission has become bitterly divisive in recent years, with several high-profile matters being deadlocked in 3-3 votes.
Mr. Biden made the nomination to replace Mr. Walther, whose term had expired, the same week the Senate blocked a pair of Democratic bills aimed at overhauling U.S. election laws. The bills would have expanded the FEC’s role in overseeing elections and boosted its enforcement powers.
Mr. Walther is one of three commissioners whose terms have expired, allowing Mr. Biden to reshape the FEC’s role through nominations, if not through legislation.
Presidents traditionally nominate a person from both parties to serve on the FEC, though it is not clear if Mr. Biden will appoint a Republican.
Ms. Lindenbaum currently serves as an attorney at Sandler Reiff, a high-powered Washington law firm, where she advises federal, state and local candidates on complying with campaign finance law.
She has represented clients before the FEC as well as in federal and state courts.
Before joining Sandler Reiff, Ms. Lindenbaum served as an associate counsel in the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In that position, she focused on voting rights and election law.