Decision empowers fraudsters, leaves people more at risk for financial scams 

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Jarkesy that hamstrings the SEC’s ability to protect people and communities and may put people who rely on protections from other federal agencies at risk.

The Court decided a case brought by hedge fund manager George Jarkesy, who had been found by the SEC to have committed securities fraud, that challenged the SEC’s long-standing use of administrative tribunals as violating the Seventh Amendment right to a jury.

Legal scholars across the ideological spectrum weighed in at the Court explaining the infirmities in Jarkesy’s challenge, urging the Court against limiting Congress’ ability to legislate, undermining agency independence and heightening politicization of our federal agencies’ decision-making processes. Democracy Forward submitted a brief on behalf of JD/PhD legal historian and originalist scholar Jed Shugerman of the Boston University School of Law. Shugerman’s brief focused on the question of whether the president should have an unconditional removal power over administrative law judges (ALJs), arguing that the Supreme Court has wrongly interpreted the history in extending presidential powers. The Supreme Court rightly decided not to extend those presidential powers in today’s case. 

“Today’s decision will harm the American people, and will hamper the ability of agencies like the SEC to protect the people and communities they were created by Congress to serve. Administrative judges, who are civil servants, have long been recognized by Congress as serving an important function in federal agencies,” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward. “The decision undermines the essential oversight role of the SEC and also threatens to undermine efforts of other federal agencies to protect the American people. The SEC is essential in protecting consumers and investors from fraud and ensuring that deception is not normalized in our economic system. The Court’s decision, which was urged by many of the same interests supporting Project 2025, is the result of a cynical attempt to make our government less effective and less able to serve the American people. As Justice Sotomayor’s dissent notes, Congress has enacted more than 200 statutes authorizing dozens of agencies to enforce and adjudicate statutory programs designed to protect the American people. This decision threatens to undermine the effectiveness of broad federal protections and puts people at risk.”

To speak with Perryman or another Democracy Forward spokesperson about the implications of this case, please email For more information about Democracy Forward and its role in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, see here.

– # # # –