On October 3rd, SEC Chairman Mary Jo White reviewed the history and importance of SEC independence from political influence. She pointed to the apparently socially motivated disclosures mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act as prime examples of Congressional interference with SEC independence. While White lauded the humanitarian goals of, for example, the conflict mineral disclosure provisions, she questioned the use of the SEC's mandatory disclosure powers to accomplish those goals. White also took aim at what she perceives to be judicial interference with the executive branch's enforcement authority, stating: "A court reviewing a consent judgment in one of our cases has a narrower focus - making sure that the settlement is not ambiguous and that it does not affirmatively harm third parties or impose an undue burden on the court's own resources. But, the core decision as to whether to seek admissions is a decision for the Commission to make in its best, independent judgment of what should be required" (footnote omitted).White Remarks.
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