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Ray Lucia goes to Washington

Supreme Court accepts case of embattled investor

Ray Lucia
Ray Lucia

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the complaint of San Diego radio host Ray Lucia, who was slapped by the Securities and Exchange Commission, lost his appeal to that body, and then lost at the court level.

In addition to his radio/TV work, Lucia had a lucrative business giving seminars to investors. But the securities commission charged that he was giving false information — saying he had backtested his strategy, showing that it would have worked in past markets, when in fact he had not. He lost his case before the commission, then lost his appeal to a lower court. He was barred from the investment advisory industry.

He changed strategies in going to the high court. He has charged that administrative law judges, who settle cases such as his own before the commission, are not appointed constitutionally. The commission says that administrative law judges are mere employees of the agency. Lucia argues that they are “officers” who should be appointed under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The Trump administration sides with Lucia.

If Lucia wins, other agencies will have to scramble to change the status of administrative law judges. That will be quite expensive.

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Ray Lucia
Ray Lucia

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the complaint of San Diego radio host Ray Lucia, who was slapped by the Securities and Exchange Commission, lost his appeal to that body, and then lost at the court level.

In addition to his radio/TV work, Lucia had a lucrative business giving seminars to investors. But the securities commission charged that he was giving false information — saying he had backtested his strategy, showing that it would have worked in past markets, when in fact he had not. He lost his case before the commission, then lost his appeal to a lower court. He was barred from the investment advisory industry.

He changed strategies in going to the high court. He has charged that administrative law judges, who settle cases such as his own before the commission, are not appointed constitutionally. The commission says that administrative law judges are mere employees of the agency. Lucia argues that they are “officers” who should be appointed under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The Trump administration sides with Lucia.

If Lucia wins, other agencies will have to scramble to change the status of administrative law judges. That will be quite expensive.

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Comments
2

In recent years there have been many commentators who have questioned the authority of the "administrative state." They refer to just this sort of thing, where Congress delegates to enforcement agencies the ability to write their own rules and then enforce them with no other oversight. In many cases those agencies are not subject to judicial review at all. The fact the SCOTUS is accepting the case indicates that he has a good chance of prevailing. If the Court does rule for him, who'd a thunk ol' Ray could have done something significant?

Jan. 14, 2018

Visduh: I half-agree with you. I have problems with the administrative state, too. But if the high court sides with Ray -- and I am almost certain it will -- that means that every single government agency, probably at federal, state and even local levels, will have to go through a laborious and extremely expensive process to hire and pay administrative law judges. I would think a swarm of lawsuits will also follow. So there are good arguments on the other side, too. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 14, 2018

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