The Senate unanimously approved Mary Jo White on April 8th to lead America's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the basis of her reputation as a prosecutor and defence attorney. She will need all of her talents to argue the case for the agency's approach to justice.
When Jed Rakoff ['64], a federal judge, decided in November 2011 to reject a $285m settlement between the SEC and Citicorp, it was widely seen as an interesting but quixotic move: when it came to settlements by government agencies, courts were seen as rubber stamps. But a handful of judges have since followed suit and blocked other SEC deals.
Settlements are at the heart of how the SEC handles litigation: they are quick and efficient. Defendants usually pay a hefty fine but don't admit any guilt. That irked Mr Rakoff, who pointed out other flaws, too: a lack of clear evidence or reasoning behind settlement amounts, inadequate penalties and harm to the public interest. ...
Jed Rakoff '64 is a federal judge and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School. Rakoff was awarded a Doctor of Letters at Swarthmore's 2003 commencement. Rakoff served as a member of Alumni Council and founded the College's Extern Program - a program which has opened the doors for countless students as they embark on their own professional journeys. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013.