Headline RoundupNovember 28th, 2023

Supreme Court SEC Case Could Upend Federal Agencies’ Enforcement Authority

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, a case questioning how federal agencies like the SEC can enforce their policies.

The Details: In 2013, the SEC fined George R. Jarkesy Jr., a hedge fund manager and conservative talk radio host, after determining he committed securities fraud. In response, Jarkesy made several legal arguments that the SEC’s adjudication system, and Congress’ delegation of that legal authority to federal agencies, are unconstitutional. 

‘A remarkable spectacle’: SCOTUSblog’s (Center bias) Ronald Mann highlighted the case’s broad scope, calling it a “buffet of constitutional law topics” with “far-ranging and distinct” arguments. 

‘A fringe legal theory’: “Terrifyingly,” Noah Rosenblum wrote in The Atlantic (Left bias), Jarkesy could succeed in asserting that “Congress never had the authority to empower the SEC,” thereby threatening “important” government functions. Rosenblum added that the “extreme” preceding appeals court decision essentially ruled “the SEC’s entire existence unconstitutional.” Separately, a Vox (Left bias) writer said a win for Jarkesy “could supercharge Trump’s plans to fill the government with his own loyalists.” 

‘A legal protection against the administrative state’: The Wall Street Journal (Opinion rated Lean Right) Editorial Board praised the ”challenge” to “the runaway administrative state,” saying, “Today’s administrative tribunals resemble those that the British government used to punish colonists and religious dissidents before the revolution.” Separately, a conservative opinion writer in the Washington Post (Lean Left bias) said, “Let us hope for what progressives fear: the end of government as they have transformed it.” 

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