Do The Secretary Of State’s Criteria For Determining “Generally Recognized Presidential Candidates” Violate The APA?

Earlier this week, the California Secretary of State released his list of “generally recognized presidential candidates”.  These are the individual whose names will appear on California’s June 2016 primary ballot.  The Secretary of State listed 43 individuals from six political parties (American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace & Freedom, and Republican).  It’s not too late to

Insurance Commissioner Calls For Thermal Coal Divestment And Disclosure

Late last month, California’s Insurance Commissioner announced that he had “asked all insurance companies doing business in California to voluntarily divest from their investments in thermal coal”.  Thermal coal, also known as steam coal, is coal that is used to power steam generators. According to to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal is the most

District Court Declines To Redress The SEC’s Failure To Respond To Petition Seeking Political Spending Disclosure Rule

Although placed right up front in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances is often overshadowed by the other First Amendment rights.  There can be no doubt, however, that the right to petition the government is an important right with a long historical tradition.  The

Resource Extraction Rule: SEC Puts More Time On The Clock

In July 2010, Congress ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a resource extraction rule within 270 days (i.e., by April 17, 2011).  The SEC did not adopt rules until August 22, 2012, missing the Congress’ deadline by 1 year, 4 months and 2 days (or a total of 490 days).  In 2013, however, the U.S. District Court

More Maladroit Drafting From The SEC

Last December, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new exemptive rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940.  The proposed rule would allow mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), closed-end funds, and companies that have elected to be treated as business development companies (“BDCs”) under the ICA to enter into derivatives transactions and financial commitment transactions notwithstanding

Resource Extraction Payments Disclosure: “I’ve Information Vegetable, Animal, and Mineral”

Pirates_of_Penzance_(A_S__Seer,_1880)

Section 13(q) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 directed the SEC to issue rules requiring resource extraction issuers to include in an annual report information relating to any payment made by the issuer, a subsidiary of the issuer, or an entity under the control of the issuer, to a foreign government or the Federal

“Not De Minimis” Is No Small Thing!

Having failed to meet a Congressional deadline for years, a federal court last fall ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a resource extraction payments disclosure rule as required by Section 13(q) of the Securities Exchange Act. Oxfam Am., Inc. v. United States SEC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116982 (D. Mass. Sept. 2, 2015).  Pursuant to U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper’s order,

How A Train Wreck Changed The Constitution

In the early morning of October 3, 1970 on rural road just outside San Jose, 61-year old Engineer Anthony Gassell was at the controls of his Southern Pacific locomotive as it headed northwest.  At the same time, 24-year old Kathryn Colville was driving with her 2 1/2 year-old son, Paul, to feed her horse.  As

Court Enjoins SEC Administrative Proceeding

Last March, I posed the following question:  But if you were hailed before an unconstitutional tribunal with the ostensible authority to fine you and bar you from working, would you want a “real” court to step in and consider the constitutionality of the proceedings? At the time, I was disappointed by U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph

Defending The SEC’s Choice Of The Administrative Home Court

Wharton Associate Professor David Zaring has written an article defending the Securities and Exchange Commission’s choice to litigate in administrative rather than federal courts.  He argues that administrative adjudication “violates no rights, nor offends the separation of powers”.  Yet, he acknowledges: Lawyers often worry about administrative proceedings. “If given a choice … most practitioners would choose” district court “because