Supreme Court to Decide Whether the SEC Has the Authority to Seek Disgorgement in Enforcement Proceedings | Publications and Presentations | Arnold & Porter

On November 1, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission (18-1501). Liu seeks review of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) authority to pursue disgorgement as a form of equitable relief for federal securities law violations in district court proceedings, an issue cast into doubt by the Supreme Court’s 2017 opinion in Kokesh v. SEC, which held that disgorgement constitutes a “penalty.” The Court’s consideration of whether federal district courts have the authority to order disgorgement in SEC enforcement actions could result in fundamental changes to the SEC’s enforcement program, which relies heavily on disgorgement as an enforcement remedy.

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