The nomination of Allison Lee to fill the open SEC Commissioner position will move forward on June 5 when the Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on several nominees. If confirmed, Ms. Lee would fill the seat left vacant when Commissioner Kara Stein left the Commission in January.
Lee is a former SEC Division of Enforcement attorney and an aide to Commissioner Stein, as well as a law firm partner and more recently a lecturer on corporate law at Universities in Spain and Rome. Although her nomination has been expected, it has reportedly been pending for months, angering some Democrats and liberal advocacy groups. Lee's confirmation at the SEC would provide another Democrat voice at the SEC, however, with Republicans would still have a 3-2 voting majority, as Chairman Jay Clayton, a political independent, votes with the Republicans.
SEC Commissioners serve out a set term of five years which is not tied to the individual serving the term. Thus, if a new Commissioner replaces a Commissioner which departed prior to the expiration of the five year term, the new Commissioner's term only extends to the end of the five year term being served by their predecessor.
Lee would fill a seat expiring in 2022. However, it has been speculated that Commissioner Robert Jackson, also a Democrat, who was confirmed in 2018, will leave the Commission sometime in 2019 to return to academia, as his term expires in June. Commissioner Jackson is permitted to remain in office for up to 18 months unless a successor is confirmed before then.