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LANDMARK LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST SEC TO PROTECT ALL WHISTLEBLOWERS

Dems may warm to principles-based rules

Jordan Thomas’ recent lawsuit to protect whistleblowers is discussed in an April 1, 2021 article focused on the effects of politics in SEC rulemaking. The article, written by Bill Myers, says that Jordan’s lawsuit may be a “hard case [that] play[s] out in front of us” reflecting on whether Democrats will seek to repeal so-called “principles-based” rules put into effect by Trump appointees or ideologues during the prior administration. However, the article notes that the parties quickly agreed to a “lengthy continuance” of the lawsuit, citing speculation that this signals Democrats may try other measures to make the new rules work for them. For example, they could define or refine the relevant principles in “exams . . . staff guidance and perhaps even an enforcement action or two . . . .”

The article also discusses the risks of either approach. Namely, permitting “principles-based” rules to stand can lead to corruption, but fighting to repeal them could consume too many resources and lead to unintended consequences.

Time will tell what the approach will be under the new Biden administration.

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