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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ratifies administrative law judges

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ratifies administrative law judges
From Reuters - November 30, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday it had ratified the prior appointment of its administrative law judges.

The SEC said in a statement the ratification of five in-house judges would resolve concerns about administrative proceedings handled by those officials, after their status as SEC employees was challenged in court.

The SEC also said it was directing those judges to review their prior actions in all open administrative cases.

The move comes one day after the Justice Department reversed its prior defense of the in-house judges, and marks a reversal of prior SEC policy.

In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, the Solicitor General said it no longer viewed the judges as agency employees, but rather as officers who were subject to the same constitutional restrictions as presidential appointees.

The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to render a ruling on the matter.

The SECs shift brings it in line with the Justice Departments argument, and effectively ensures the existing judges can remain in their posts free of constitutional concerns pending judicial review.

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