Former Suffolk Law School professor and brother of Sen. John Kerry, Cameron Kerry has been nominated as General Counsel for the U.S. Commerce Department by President Obama, although he stressed in an interview with the Journal that he has not been confirmed by the Senate yet and did not want to disclose too much information until everything is official.
The job of the Commerce Department General Counsel is to be the “legal adviser to the commerce secretary and I will do my job as defined by him when and if I am confirmed,” said Kerry. Working at the commerce department is a demanding job according to Kerry because it’s “running from trade to tech to oceans and atmosphere.”
If confirmed, Kerry will bring over twenty-five years of experience as a lawyer to the commerce department. He has worked for the Boston law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo since 1983 and has largely focused on telecommunications law. He has written on first amendment and cable television issues.
“One important piece [of working at the Commerce Department] is the National Broadband portion of the stimulus package,” said Kerry. In the stimulus package, $4.7 billion will be provided for broadband.
From 1997-2002, Kerry taught classes at Suffolk Law School regarding the subjects of telecommunications law and convergence and regular administrative law and procedure, which touches upon the first amendment.
“It was a great challenge to delve into and broaden students’ knowledge and it was a great broadening and learning experience for me,” said Kerry. “There was always one person that brought a relevant background to the table.”
Kerry said that there was an arduous vetting process to be selected as the Commerce Department’s General Counsel that is still going on and declined to go into detail on the application process.
Before going on to the full Senate, Kerry will have a hearing in front of the Senate Commerce committee, which includes Sen. Kerry, who will likely recluse himself from voting on his brother’s nomination. “[Sen. Kerry] has created an opportunity for me to be part of the political conversation nationally.” Kerry is a close political confidant to his brother and served as an adviser to his 2004 presidential campaign.
Having converted to Judaism in 1983 before marrying Kathy Weinman and being the current Vice-Chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Kerry was able to use his voice among the Jewish Community to defend Obama during the 2008 elections.
According to Kerry, there is no word yet on when the confirmation hearing will take place.
The National Jewish Democratic Council released the following statement:
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) commends President Barack Obama’s selection of our good friend, and dedicated Vice Chairman of our Board of Directors, Cameron Kerry to serve as General Counsel to the Department of Commerce. With over 30 years of experience in law, a keen intellect, and an in-depth understanding of a wide range of legal areas, Cam will be an invaluable asset to our government.
Cam has been an indispensable part of our leadership team at NJDC where we have come to rely on his sage advice and strong leadership. Cam has a strong presence in the Jewish community; he played a principal role in 2004 by rallying the Jewish vote on behalf of the Democratic ticket.
At this important and challenging time, there is no better person to play such a key role in the Obama administration.
(Source: Suffolk Journal / YWN)