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.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the RightThe Supreme Court Considers the Right to Trial by Jury
The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear the first of two landmark cases this term challenging the runaway administrative state. At stake in SEC v. Jarkesy is a bedrock constitutional principle that colonists fought to defend in the American revolution: the right to a trial by jury.
Congress in recent decades has expanded the enforcement powers of administrative agencies. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act granted the Securities and Exchange Commission unbridled power to seek penalties administratively against any individual for violating securities laws. Democrats wanted to make it easier for the agency to...
From the LeftThe Case That Could Destroy the Government
This Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that poses the most direct challenge yet to the legitimacy of the modern federal government. The right-wing legal movement’s target is the “administrative state”—the agencies and institutions that set standards for safety in the workplace, limit environmental hazards and damage, and impose rules on financial markets to ensure their stability and basic fairness, among many other important things. The case, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, threatens all of that. Terrifyingly, this gambit might succeed.
The case involves garden-variety securities fraud. George...
From the CenterSupreme Court to consider multi-pronged constitutional attack on SEC
The argument on Wednesday in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy will present a remarkable spectacle of three entirely distinct constitutional challenges to wholly disparate attributes of the SEC. Ordinarily, the ability of the justices to control their docket would allow them to wait on each question for the development of a circuit conflict and select a suitable case in which to resolve each issue. But in this case a bold (I did not say “rogue”) panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit accepted all three arguments and...