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Supreme Court questions federal agencies' ability to serve as judge and jury


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Washington Examiner

Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical of the Securities and Exchange Commission's powers to conduct in-house adjudications without juries in a case that could disrupt the administrative state.

Justices heard oral arguments on Wednesday involving hedge fund manager and conservative radio jockey George Jarkesy, whom the SEC fined and barred from the industry after determining he had committed securities fraud. In a bid to avoid commission-appointed administrative law judges deciding his case behind a bureaucratic curtain, Jarkesy appealed to the federal courts, arguing the agency's procedures infringed on his Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.


Jarkesy achieved favor from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2022 ruling when the court held that the SEC's in-house proceedings violated the constitutional right to a jury trial and tore through presidential and constitutional powers.

During oral arguments Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, said it was "curious" that federal agencies such as the SEC appeared to exert more leverage on daily life than in the past, a position that a majority of the court appeared to agree with in some capacity.:snip:

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Brian Fletcher, principal deputy solicitor general for the Justice Department representing the SEC, argued that "civil penalties" in government enforcement actions are permissible through in-house adjudications, adding that the precedent has been established for more than 100 years.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama-era appointee, gave more credence to the government's arguments, saying, “We have permitted the public interest to be protected in an administrative proceeding.”

1. Something I read Years Ago. Everyday we violate 3 federal regulations that have criminal penalties.

2. As of November 6, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 10,340.

How Many Pages Is the Tax Code (& How Long Does It Take to Read It)

According to the Public Law 117-154(06/23/2022), the U.S. Tax Code is 6,871 pages. When you include the federal tax regulations and the official tax guidance, the number of pages raises to approximately 75,000. This will take an average reader about 14 weeks to finish.

“Show me the man and I'll find you the crime”

Lavrentiy Beria

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The Case That Should Restore Our Government

Noah Rosenblum’s Atlantic piece on Jarkesy v. SEC, a case that was argued at the Supreme Court Wednesday, is alarmingly titled “The Case That Could Destroy Our Government.” This apocalyptic take is the culmination of a concerted effort on the part of sectors of the legal media and academia to hoodwink the American public about a case that simply seeks to restore adjudication of government prosecutions to courts – where the Constitution solely placed the judicial power – as well as fulfilling the Constitution’s promise of a jury trial which Congress cannot take away. Rosenblum’s alarmist essay demands a detailed rebuttal.

What the Case Is Really About

George Jarkesy was charged in 2013 in a civil action alleging securities fraud which had historically been brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal district courts before real judges. The 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation sought to change that by allowing the SEC to charge Mr. Jarkesy in the SEC’s own in-house administrative adjudications, where the judge is essentially employed by the prosecutor. Such SEC proceedings had originally been set up to determine relatively minor licensing and other regulatory requirements.

Consider what this means for Americans. The SEC makes rules, formally and informally, and through enforcement proceedings announces new rules, often retroactively. It has unchecked power to launch investigations that can last years and which lead to a recommendation to itself to commence an in-house prosecution which the commission, unsurprisingly, approves. But since 2010, the same enforcement team that investigates and recommends prosecution becomes the prosecutor before an administrative law judge (ALJ) employed by the very commission that launched the investigation and approved the prosecution in the first place.:snip:


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