SEC’s Clayton backs Democrats on 10 of 13 enforcement votes this year

13 June 2018 8:55am
Jay Clayton, head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has sided with the Democrats on 10 of the 13 enforcement votes this year on which Republican and Democratic commissioners split evenly along party lines, an MLex review has found.

“An investor who is screwed can be a Republican as well as a Democrat,” Duke University law professor James Cox said.

All three votes on which Clayton, a Donald Trump appointee, sided with the Republicans were to grant waivers from automatic regulatory sanctions to firms that had been fined for securities violations, SEC records show. His predecessor, Barack Obama appointee Mary Jo White, also cast multiple deciding votes to approve firms’ waiver requests.

Harvey Pitt, an SEC chairman under President George W. Bush, said of Clayton: “He votes on issues as he believes is appropriate, and I am quite certain that he does not utilize a political prism.”

John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor, noted that SEC enforcement votes are on matters recommended for action by commission staff.