- President Donald Trump recently reappointed a staunch workers' rights advocate to a second term on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Chai Feldblum was originally appointed by President Barack Obama.
- Feldblum is credited with fighting for LGBT employees' protection under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in sex discrimination cases. She also was a driving force behind EEO-1 pay reporting requirements that remain in limbo.
- If confirmed by the Senate, Feldblum's term will extend to 2023.
The Trump administration's renomination of Feldblum surprised many stakeholders. Presidents generally ensure that both Republicans and Democrats are represented on the commission, but often choose moderate individuals from their opposing party, like Obama's appointment of Victoria Lipnic.
Feldblum, a former Georgetown Law professor, has sometimes been praised by both sides of the aisle for her work, but Trump's reappointment still confounded experts, especially considering her opposition to the administration's official position on LGBT rights under Title VII. When Politico asked an anonymous source why Trump may have chosen Feldblum, he or she said it “beats the hell out of me"; another commentator suggested it may have been an oversight.
Another writer suggested that it was part of a political deal, but the Heritage Foundation has called on conservatives in the U.S. Senate to reject Feldblum's nomination and send Trump back to the drawing board.