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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Scalia Hopes to Make It 6-0 Against the Government

News summary by MFWire's editors

The Wall Street Journal ran a profile of litigator Eugene Scalia just a day before he's set to argue against new regulations on mutual funds that trade commodities.

And in what surely is not a coincidence, Scalia himself also has an op-ed in today's Journal, explaining why the SEC "has such difficulty defending its rules" in court.

He should know. The son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the younger Scalia "has emerged as one of the industry's go-to guys for challenging financial regulations," in the words of Journal reporter Jamila Trindle.

His record is now 5-0 in recent cases he's argued on behalf of Wall Street, the Journal reports, including a win in a similar case he argued last week in federal court.

The upcoming case was brought on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the ICI, as the MFWire reported when the case was filed last April. The trade groups are challenging the requirement set by Dodd-Frank that mutual funds trading commodities register with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

Scalia's op-ed gives a bullet-pointed list of the reasons the SEC has failed in court, puncturing the argument that the courts have been issuing ideologically driven rulings. One big reason is that the SEC is bad at cost-benefit analysis, he says.

Scalia's conclusion: "the SEC (and, lately, the CFTC) often does a poor job with the hard work of the rule-making process." A judgement that bodes well for the industry's chances in court tomorrow. 

Edited by: Chris Cumming

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