Split 5th Circ. Tosses Accountant's Suit Against SEC Judges

Law360 (August 11, 2020, 11:01 PM EDT) -- A split panel of Fifth Circuit judges on Tuesday threw out a suit brought by an accountant who alleged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's in-house judges are unconstitutionally protected from removal.

Two of the three judges on the panel agreed that Michelle Cochran, who the SEC claims violated Public Company Accounting Oversight Board standards, must first make her constitutional arguments to the SEC administrative law judge handling her case.

"To be sure, requiring the adjudication to run its course before we consider her constitutional claim could impose unnecessary costs on Cochran," the majority said. "But the costs an individual may...

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