The en banc case of Cochran v. SEC, No. 19-10396 (Dec. 13, 2021), presented a difficult statutory-interpretation case, overlaid on fundamental issues about the limits of the administrative state. The majority held that the 1934 Securities Exchange Act did not divest district courts of jurisdiction over “structural constitutional claims” about SEC enforcement actions: “Cochran’s removal power claim is wholly collateral to the Exchange Act’s statutory-review scheme, is outside the SEC’s expertise, and might never receive judicial review if district court jurisdiction were precluded.” An informative concurrence examined the continuing influence of Woodrow Wilson and James Landis (the SEC’s second director) on modern thinking about the power and pervasiveness of federal administrative agencies.

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