Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission

United States Supreme Court
138 S. Ct. 2044, 201 L. Ed. 2d 464 (2018)



The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (defendant) instituted an administrative proceeding against Raymond Lucia (plaintiff). An administrative-law judge for the SEC, who held a career appointment, found that Lucia had violated federal investment law. The administrative-law judge made factual findings and imposed significant sanctions on Lucia. Lucia appealed the decision, arguing that the administrative proceeding was invalid because the administrative-law judge had not been constitutionally appointed. According to Lucia, administrative-law judges were officers of the United States and thus were subject to the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. Under this clause, federal employees deemed officers of the United States could be appointed only by the President or the head of a department. The SEC left the task of appointing administrative-law judges to SEC staff members. Thus, Lucia contended, the judge in his case lacked constitutional authority to do his job. The SEC rejected Lucia’s argument and held that administrative-law judges were mere employees, not officers. Thus, according to the SEC, administrative-law judges were not subject to the Appointments Clause. Lucia then brought his case to a federal appeals court, which also rejected his argument. The Supreme Court then granted cert.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Breyer, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial