Lee Rudofsky, a senior compliance officer for Walmart Inc., and former Arkansas Solicitor General, was nominated Monday (July 1) by President Donald Trump for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The nomination now heads to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
The Harvard Law School graduate and member of the Federalist Society is senior director for global anti-corruption compliance for Bentonville-based Walmart, a post he has held since July 2018. Prior to that he was hired by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to be the state’s first solicitor general (2015-2018).
“When I hired Lee away from Walmart in 2015, I knew that he had the experience and legal acumen to be the lead strategist on crucial litigation for my administration as the first official Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Office,” Rutledge said in a statement following Rudofsky’s judicial nomination. “I am confident that as a jurist Lee will be fair, impartial and will adhere to the rule of law.”
According to Rutledge, in 2015, Rudofsky helped defend the state’s decision to terminate Medicaid program funding to Planned Parenthood, and helped guide litigation allowing the execution of convicted murderers by lethal injection. Rutledge credited Rudofsky with implementing a formal moot court program to prepare office attorneys for argument, and creating a review process of all briefs going to the 8th Circuit and Arkansas Supreme Court.
Rudofsky began in January 2014 as assistant general counsel for Walmart after leaving a more than six-year legal practice at Washington, D.C.-based Kirkland & Ellis. Prior to that, he worked as a deputy general counsel on the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney and the California gubernatorial campaign of Steve Poizner. He also served as a law clerk to Judge Andrew Kleinfeld on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Justice Robert Cordy of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree in public administration from the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs and a law degree from the Harvard Law School.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also praised the nomination.
“Lee Rudofsky is an outstanding choice to serve as district court judge. Lee is an exceptionally qualified attorney, and has served honorably as the Solicitor General of Arkansas as well as a Senior Director of Walmart’s Global Anti-Corruption Compliance program. Lee understands that that the proper role for a judge is to interpret the constitution and the laws as written and I look forward to his confirmation.”
Also on Monday, President Trump nominated Kerry Lee Pettingill of Oklahoma, to serve as U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Pettingill is the corporate director of Department of Transportation Compliance for Quintana Energy Services. Before joining Quintana, Pettingill served for seven years as director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and for 32 years on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, retiring with the rank of Colonel.