SEC FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule Upheld by Federal Court - State and Federal Communications

June 20, 2019  •  

SEC FINRA Pay-to-Play Rule Upheld by Federal Court

On June 18, a federal appellate court affirmed the legality of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pay-to-play rule.

In New York Republican State Committee v. SEC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the SEC’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 2030 constitutional.

The rule prohibits a placement agent from accepting compensation for soliciting government business from certain candidates and elected officials within two years of having contributed to such an official’s electoral campaign or to the transition or inaugural expenses of a successful candidate.

The New York Republican State Committee and the Tennessee Republican Party had argued the SEC did not have authority to enact the rule, the order adopting the rule was arbitrary and capricious because there was insufficient evidence it was needed, and the rule violated the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

While the court found the plaintiffs had standing, it ruled against all their arguments and upheld the rule.

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