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Nine Groups Say the Federal Trade Commission Needs To Embrace Recusals, Not Refusals

Since the nomination and confirmation of Chair Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC has failed to adequately address concerns about its recusal procedures. The lack of formalized recusal standards undermines the Commission’s reputation and statutory obligation to be a neutral arbiter of antitrust enforcement and consumer protection.

That is why, today, NetChoice, Americans for Prosperity, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Innovation Economy Institute, Institute for Policy Innovation, James Madison Institute, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, and Young Voices requested the FTC to create formal and streamlined recusal standards through notice and comment rulemaking.

Carl Szabo

Vice President & General Counsel


“To protect the due process rights of businesses and to ensure American consumers benefit from competition, the FTC must address personal conflicts of interest,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Although her tenure has been short, Chair Khan has already proven that her progressive biases and personal animus against popular businesses, like Amazon, will win against common sense. In her eyes, the government – not businesses – should drive markets.”

“We’re concerned about safeguarding the reputation and public trust in our government. That’s why we want the FTC to protect its status as a neutral arbiter,” continued Szabo. “Chair Khan has called for increased rulemaking, so why not more rulemaking for recusal as well?“

Brandon Arnold

Executive Vice President

National Taxpayers Union

“The Federal Trade Commission enforces some of the most potent economic interventions of any government agency, decisions that affect all taxpayers. It’s crucial that the Commission adopts impartial rules for recusal – including in prosecutorial proceedings – that are at least up to par with other agencies, for the sake of transparency and public trust in its actions.”

Mario H. Lopez


Hispanic Leadership Fund

“The need for clear rules regarding when government officials should recuse themselves is a fundamental component of guaranteeing due process.  It is well past time that the Federal Trade Commission, which is charged with protecting consumers and competition in our economy, adopt rules to ensure its proceedings are fair and that the public has confidence in its decisions.”

Bartlett Cleland

Executive Director

Innovation Economy Institute

“So much of innovation is dependent on how government acts, or doesn’t, that we must understand how and why all government decisions are made. To help the people be confident that the evidence is being weighed and that critical thinking is being applied without undisclosed bias, clear rules must be made and abided by that dictate when government officials should be recused from decisions because of a conflict of interest.”

Sal Nuzzo

Vice President of Policy

James Madison Institute

“Clearly articulated rules and logical guidelines on transparency for public officials are a hallmark of good governance. This must include clarity on when government officials should recuse due to a conflict of interest.”

Casey Given

Executive Director
Young Voices

“Young Voices is a staunch supporter of due process and government transparency. Codifying recusal rules will ensure that the FTC is held to an ethical standard, safeguard American businesses from abuses of power, and foster public trust regarding the Commission’s designated role as an impartial arbiter.”