|FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn|
By law, the FCC's five commissioners are split between the major political parties, with the party of the President holding three seats. A Democrat would need to be nominated to fill Clyburn's seat, and the President traditionally accepts the recommendation of the Senate Minority Leader in making opposing-party appointments. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has already recommended the appointment of Geoffrey Starks, an assistant chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau, according to the Politico report.
Enforcement in a ham radio case has caught the attention of another FCC commissioner. Michael O'Rielly used the long-running case William Crowell, W6WBJ (formerly N6AYJ), as an example in his efforts to abolish the FCC's Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) system. According to the ARRL Letter, Crowell - who was fined $25,000 in 2016 for intentional interference and other rules violations – has been battling the FCC for a decade over the renewal of his license. Crowell had repeatedly asked that his case be transferred to a different law judge, claiming that the judge hearing his case is biased against him. O'Rielly says the ALJ system is flawed and needs to be replaced.