WASHINGTON, DC — Within two days of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalizing its new rule banning noncompetes nationwide to open the door for up to $488 billion in increased worker earnings over the next decade, the agency is already facing lawsuits from right-wing special interests in two Texas federal courts that both fall under the jurisdiction of the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – a court increasingly scrutinized for industry favoritism over consumers. In addition to the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas that continues its trend of Fifth Circuit venue shopping, Dallas-Based ‘tax services provider’ Ryan LLC sued the FTC in the Northern District Of Texas – “a notorious haven for conservative litigants” — where a Trump-appointed Judge has been assigned. Ryan LLC owner G. Brint Ryan is reportedly a “tax adviser to Donald Trump”. In addition, a review of Ryan LLC from government watchdog Accountable.US has identified conflicts of interest with the Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals and swampy ties with the U.S. Chamber including:  

  • Ryan has hired former Trump Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and his legal team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP to challenge the FTC’s rulemaking, the same law firm where current Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals Judge James Ho worked before joining the Court, and where his wife is currently a partner, who also has law clerk experience with current Fifth Circuit Judge Jacques L. Weiner Jr.
  • Ryan Founder, Chairman, and CEO G. Brint Ryan served as Chairman of the Texas Association Of Business (TAB) when the organization partnered with the U.S. Chamber In September 2022 to sue the CFPB over its crackdown on illegal discrimination in the financial industry. The Eastern District of Texas ultimately sided with industry.
  •  Ryan LLC owner G. Brint Ryan is a longtime conservative donor, having donated $414,200 to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee since 2010.

This Texas firm suing to stop the Biden administration from helping millions of workers obtain better working conditions is as swampy as it gets, with ties to both the corporate-funded U.S. Chamber of Commerce and judges on the industry-sympathizing Fifth Circuit, where they know their lawsuit will get a warm reception. They should be treated not as some independent advocate, but the well-connected corporate entity and megadonor that they are.”

Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick
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