Request For Investigation Of The Federal Trade Commission’s Practice Of Counting “Zombie Votes”

We, the undersigned, write to you regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s use of votes cast by departed-Commissioner Rohit Chopra by e-mail from October 1, 2021 to October 8, 2021. We request an investigation into both this practice and the Commission’s lack of transparency.

Nearly one month ago, Politico reported that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held on to “as many as 20 votes that former Democratic Commissioner Rohit Chopra cast by email on Oct. 8—his last day at the agency—that remain active even after his departure.”1 The FTC claims that former- Commissioner Chopra’s votes continued to be valid two months after Chopra’s departure from the FTC following his Sept. 30, 2021 confirmation by the U.S. Senate to become Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).2

To date, the entirety of the votes, the underlying proposals, and the legal basis from which the FTC apparently derives this authority—beyond compliance with the FTC’s previously unknown internal voting rules—remain unclear and undisclosed to the public.

Using the votes of Commissioners who have departed from their roles at the FTC and concealing it from the public raises serious concerns regarding transparency and accountability. We therefore seek an investigation to determine the following: 1.) the legal basis for this practice, beyond compliance with internal voting rules; 2.) whether the practice has previously been used, when it was used, and, specifically, if it has been used to break ties; and 3.) information relating to each of the underlying proposals, votes, and relevant motions as well as the FTC’s rationale for concealing these specific matters from public disclosure.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Ashley Baker
Director of Public Policy
The Committee for Justice

Maureen Blum
Strategic Coalitions & Initiatives

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

James Edwards
Executive Director
Conservatives for Property Rights

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
60 Plus Association

Theodore A. Gebhard
Former Senior FTC Attorney
Office of Policy & Evaluation

Robert H. Bork, Jr.
The Bork Foundation

Tom Hebert
Executive Director
Open Competition Center

Ralph Benko
The Capitalist League

Curt Levey
The Committee for Justice

Garrett Bess
Vice President
Heritage Action

James L. Martin
60 Plus Association

Adam Brandon

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director
Digital Liberty

Iain Murray
Vice President and Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director
Consumer Choice Center

Richard Manning
Americans for Limited Government

Krisztina Pusok
American Consumer Institute

Doug McCullough
Lone Star Policy Institute

Timothy Sandefur
Vice President for Litigation
Goldwater Institute

Jessica Melugin
Director, Center for Technology and Innovation
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Seton Motley
Less Government

Dan Schneider
Executive Vice President
The American Conservative Union

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

NOTE: Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

1 See Leah Nylan. “‘Zombies’ to the rescue: The arcane voting rule that could save Dems’ antitrust agenda.” Politico. (November 8, 2021), available at:

2 Id.