On Tuesday, July 9, Jane Hinckley Halprin will preside over the initial stages of her first hearing as the FCC’s administrative law judge to determine a series of questions regarding the role of a convicted felon in the ownership of four AM radio stations. Given the absence of any record on which to evaluate Judge Halperin’s style on the bench, we thought it would be a good time to take stock of what we can learn about Judge Halperin from her initial actions as an ALJ.
Although Judge Halperin had a distinguished career at the FCC before taking over for former ALJ Richard Sippel, much of that time was spent behind the scenes. Haplerin first joined the FCC in 1987 as a staff attorney in the former Common Carrier Bureau and has occupied positions in the former Mass Media Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of General Counsel. In the 14 years before becoming an ALJ, Halperin worked as an Ethics Counsel in the Office of General Counsel, most recently leading the agency’s ethics team as Assistant General Counsel for Ethics.
Judge Halperin has only issued two substantive decisions since becoming an ALJ , but those decisions suggest that Halperin takes her role as an ALJ seriously and that her approach is both thorough and uncompromising.