Friday, December 9, 2011

New Gallery: The SEC and the Courts

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Historical Society has just posted a new on-line gallery, "Chasing the Devil around the Stump: The SEC and the Courts," curated by Kurt Hohenstein of Winona State University. As the exhibit introduction explains,
After the stock market crash of 1929, as the regulation of securities became more complex with the passage of the Securities Acts of the New Deal, the newly-established U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began to interpret the laws, create and implement rules, and develop legal strategies to regulate the securities industry. . . . The story of the development of securities law necessarily involves the written decisions of the courts, but to focus on merely those decisions . . . ignores much of the story. The context of the case and the decision, the manner by which a case came to be heard by a court, the strategic decisions made by the SEC General Counsel’s Office and appellate legal counsel, the personality of the justices and the court hearing the case, and the legal and economic philosophies of the court all play a part in a court’s decision. Only by considering those factors can the development of securities law as an essential part of our economic history be fully understood and appreciated.
The exhibit features hundreds of letters, telegrams, memos, cartoons, and other items relating to judicial decisions involving the SEC, as well as an extensive explanatory text for each section.

Hat tip to the Legal History Blog.