SEC Defends Its Judges' Removal Protections At 5th Circ.

Law360 (August 12, 2019, 11:33 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defended its in-house judges Friday, telling the Fifth Circuit the U.S. solicitor general has explained the processes for removing the agency’s administrative law judges can be interpreted as constitutional.

An accountant’s challenge to the judges’ constitutionality fails anyway because the SEC’s administrative proceedings against her are ongoing, the securities regulator argued. A Texas federal court was right to say the accountant, Michelle Cochran, can bring an appeal only after the agency's administrative proceedings have concluded, the SEC claimed.

“Every court of appeals to consider constitutional challenges to the commission’s administrative proceedings has held that those...

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