High Court Rejection Won't End Debate Over SEC Admin Court

March 28, 2016


The U.S. Supreme Court may have refused to consider a constitutional challenge to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s in-house court recently, but that won’t stop the debate over the court’s legitimacy.

The Supreme Court let stand a Seventh Circuit ruling that the ex-CEO of an assisted living provider can’t bring a constitutional challenge to the SEC’s in-house court while a proceeding against her is underway. The high court denied her petition for writ of certiorari without issuing an opinion.

Michael Dicke, co-chair of Fenwick’s securities enforcement group, offered his perspective to Law360. Prior to joining Fenwick, Dicke served as the Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the SEC’s San Francisco regional office.

Dicke mentioned that the debate over the tribunal’s legitimacy will continue, as the merits of the issue remain unresolved and other lawsuits are working towards potential high court review.

Dicke told Law360 that the larger debate over the constitutionality of how the SEC runs its in-house courts and how it appoints its judges is “still a very live issue.”

“It is not that the court is ruling on the merits. They are just saying, ‘We are not going to step in yet,’” said Dicke.

The full article is available through the Law360 website (subscription required)​.​​