In the recent Supreme Court decision, SEC v. Jarkesy, the justices ruled that individuals facing financial penalties from the SEC are entitled to a jury trial, reinforcing the Seventh Amendment’s right to a jury. This decision contrasts with the court’s 2018 Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group ruling, which upheld the constitutionality of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) by classifying patent validity as a public rights issue, not requiring a jury. The decision also leaves unresolved issues about nondelegation and the protections of administrative law judges, signaling these debates are far from over in administrative law contexts.

Sterne Kessler Director and co-lead of the firm’s appellate practice, William Milliken commented, “The questions presented in Jarkesy that had the potentially seismic implications — for not just the PTAB or PTO, but for administrative law in general — were the nondelegation question and to a slightly lesser extent the removal protection question.” Milliken continued, “This decision is not nearly as far-reaching as it might have been. It’s definitely not the sea change in administrative law that we could have seen.”

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