The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the SEC’s in-house court proceedings meet constitutional requirements, providing the agency with a victory as it defends its effort to bring more cases in house.
This is the first ruling that directly addresses the question of whether the SEC’s administrative law judges, who oversee the cases, are appointed in line with constitutional protections. Challengers have argued that judges aren’t appointed by the five members of the commission, and are instead hired through the agency’s office of in-house judges, which they say is a violation of the Constitution’s Appointments Clause.
Dozens of challenges have raised the issue and are pending in federal courts around the country.
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