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Aug 16, 2016

D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings

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On August 9, 2016, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued Lucia v. SEC, a significant decision that holds that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC” or “Commission”) use of administrative law judges (“ALJs”) is constitutional.  In so doing, the D.C. Circuit ruled that the SEC’s use of ALJs does not violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution because, rather than acting as officers of the United States, the SEC’s ALJs act as employees who lack the authority to issue “final decisions.”  With at least one similar case pending in another Circuit, and a number of appeals challenging the constitutionality of Administrative Proceedings (APs) pending before the Commission itself, Lucia is an important precedent-setting decision.

View full memo, D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings

Authors and Contributors

Mark D. Lanpher

Partner

Litigation

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+1 202 508 8120

Washington DC

Stephen Fishbein

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 4424

+1 212 848 4424

New York

Adam Hakki

Partner

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+1 212 848 4924

+1 212 848 4924

New York

Christopher L. LaVigne

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 4432

+1 212 848 4432

New York

John A. Nathanson

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 8611

+1 212 848 8611

New York

Patrick D. Robbins

Partner

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+1 415 616 1210

+1 415 616 1210

San Francisco

Philip Urofsky

Partner

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+1 202 508 8060

+1 202 508 8060

Washington DC

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