Today at noon the SEC Historical Society will webcast live, here, "The Supreme Court and the SEC," a discussion moderated by Discussion moderated by Kurt Hohenstein, Assistant Professor of History, Winona State University, with David M. Becker, Former SEC General Counsel, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and Adam C. Pritchard, the Frances and George Skestos Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School.
I tuned in and learned that the title of the session only partially described its contents. Yes, Adam Pritchard discussed the Supreme Court and the SEC, in line with his article coauthored with my colleague Robert Thompson, Securities Law and the New Deal Justices,95 Va. L. Rev. 841-926 (2009). That is, he focused on the New Deal justices' relative indifference to the Court's SEC caseload (evidence by their assigning the cases to Frank Murphy!). he also summarized his article in the Duke Law Journal on how Lewis Powell's appointment to the Court made it a force the SEC had to reckon with. But David Becker's remarks focused on the D.C. Circuit and, in particular, the SEC's extremely poor record defending its rulemaking there (to which, he ruefully conceded, he had himself contributed as general counsel). Becker's talk went to a more recent past than Prichard's, but it is also of interest to historians of the American administrative state.