US Supreme Court Denies Appeal: SEC Pay-to-Play Rule Remains - State and Federal Communications

January 13, 2020  •  

US Supreme Court Denies Appeal: SEC Pay-to-Play Rule Remains

United States Supreme Court Building

On January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order denying review of an appeal concerning the legality of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pay-to-play rule, allowing that rule to stand.

Previously, on June 18, 2020, a federal appellate court had affirmed a lower court’s finding that the pay-to-play rule was legal.

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.

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