U.S. Supreme Court takes up challenge to SEC in-house judges

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a challenge to a key Securities and Exchange Commission practice – its use of in-house judges to enforce investor protection laws – by a former California-based radio host and investment adviser who is backed by the Trump administration.

The justices took up an appeal by Raymond Lucia, who was found liable for fraud by an SEC administrative law judge and hit with a lifetime ban from investment-related work. The case took a twist in November when President Donald Trump’s Justice Department reversed course and sided with Lucia, known for his “Buckets of Money” investment strategy.

Lucia and the administration argue that the SEC violates the U.S. Constitution in the way it hires its administrative law judges. SEC critics have said the use of these in-house judges gives the agency an unfair advantage in enforcement disputes.

Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

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