Consumers should applaud SCOTUS’s opinion on Jarkesy restoring civil rights to those pursued by administrative agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late last week, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered another magnanimous opinion in a lawsuit concerning the rights of citizens subject to enforcement action by federal agencies.

In SEC v. Jarkesy, it was held that any person held liable for civil penalties by an administrative agency is afforded the right of a jury trial – as stipulated by the Seventh Amendment – to have those claims heard in court.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center, responds:

“Along with the bombshell ruling of the Supreme Court reversing Chevron deference, the court’s opinion in SEC v. Jarkesy helps put administrative agencies in check and to ensure that individuals, firms, and organizations that find themselves the target of enforcement actions can have those accusations heard in a court of law,” said Ossowski.

“As we’ve seen too often with Commissioner Gary Gensler’s Securities and Exchange Commission, too many innovative cryptocurrency companies that offer great services for consumers have had their fates decided for them by unaccountable actions that have been nearly impossible to counter without a fair and balanced hearing before a judge.

“It’s a relief to see the Supreme Court come out strongly against administrative law judges and agencies that have abused American businesses and their many consumers. Time and time again, these judges, appointed and hired by agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and Department of Labor, have ruled in manners that are inconsistent with existing law and common sense — often enriching large corporations at the expense of everyone else.

“By reaffirming that the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords the American people the right to a trial by jury, the Supreme Court confirmed what we have all known for decades: the use of in-house administrative law judges typically violates judicial and statutory norms. We look forward to seeing how Jarkesy limits the use and power of ALJs within the SEC, FTC, DOL, and other agencies so that every American business and consumer can receive the fair legal proceedings they are entitled to,” concludes Ossowski.

The Consumer Choice Center firmly believes that this decision will lead to a more transparent, fair, and accountable regulatory process, benefiting consumers by preventing the kind of overreach that reduces choices, raises prices, and squashes innovation.

About the Consumer Choice Center:

The Consumer Choice Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of consumers around the world. Our mission is to promote freedom of choice, healthy competition, and evidence-based policies that benefit consumers. We work to ensure that consumers have access to a variety of quality products and services and can make informed decisions about their lifestyle and consumption. 

Find out more at www.consumerchoicecenter.org

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