Judge Brenda Murray explained to [eight] brokers that the commissioners who run the SEC and approve all the civil charges filed by the agency don’t want its judges second-guessing them.
“So for me to say I am wiping it out,” Ms Murray said at the [motion to dismiss] hearing last year, “it looks like I am saying to these presidential appointee commissioners, I am reversing you. And they don’t like that.”
It doesn’t get any more blatant than that.
And yet, there’s this:
In another glimpse inside the SEC’s court, [Judge Cameron] Elliot told the defendants during settlement discussions on a case they should be aware he had never ruled against the agency’s enforcement division, said a person who was there. The judge said the defendants might therefore want to do a deal with the agency rather than fight their case at a hearing before him[.]
No extortion here. Mm, mm.
Whether this is dishonesty or rank cowardice isn’t material here. What is material is that these performances by SEC administrative judges are, by themselves, reason to do away with the SEC’s administrative judge system altogether and refer cases the SEC brings to Federal—or State—courts, where the defendants can get an actual fair trial.
These sham performances also should prompt a Congressional review of all administrative judge systems, Federal government wide, with a requirement that each entity having such a system prove it needs it and that the Federal and State court systems cannot handle the cases.