BREAKING NEWS:  The U.S. Supreme Court Finds That SEC "In-House" Administrative Law Judges Are "Inferior Officers" Subject to the Appointments Clause

June 21, 2018 | Category: BLOG, News, Reported Decisions

BREAKING NEWS, June 21, 2018 - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday held that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") "In-House Judges," otherwise known as Administrative Law Judges ("ALJs"), are “inferior officers” subject to the appointments clause of the Constitution.  This decision has broad ramifications for various federal agencies that employ similar in-house judges.

Justice Kagan wrote the 6-3 opinion, which found that ALJs are “inferior officers.” This means that the judges will need to be appointed in the future. 

For years, the Securities defense bar has argued that the SEC’s in-house judges should be subject to the appointments clause, because they carry out judicial proceedings, including evidentiary procedures and handing down decisions.  Also, the SEC rarely overturns or gives more than a cursory review to its ALJ decisions.


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