May 18, 2005
Selecting SEC Commissioners
The process for selecting federal judges has gone decidely political. Both sides in the dispute, federal Republicans and Democrats, are pointing fingers of blame at the other. The reason for the politicization of the process is that judges have become more central, political actors. Politican decisions made by judges means that affected people will find a way to politicize the selection process.
Will the SEC be next? The SEC this term has decided to restructure the nation's securities trading markets. There are many winners and losers. One of the winners is the SEC, which will enlarge is role and, therefore, its power. Pushing the rule change through were two Democratic commissioners and a Republican chair, Donaldson, who comes from one of the big winners, the NYSE. The two Republican commissioners voted against the rules. The party in power selectes the chair. The President also selects the four commissioners but two commissioners must come from each of the two major parties.
One of the Democratic commissioner will leave the agency at the end of the year (before the new rules become effective). Democrats know what is at stake and want Annette Nazareth as the replacement. Ms. Nazareth is safe; she is from within the SEC (she has been a Director since 1999) and was an ardent propenent (indeed creator) of the new market restructuring rules. Will the President comply with the request?
The higher profile of the SEC will no doubt cause industry participants to get involved in lobbying for a replacement. The lobbying will get political and the Presidenct's selection of a Demoractic representatives, long a matter of curtesy, could get very interesting. Curtesy has been lost on the confirmation of federal judges. Is the SEC appointment process soon to follow?
May 18, 2005 | Permalink
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