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Seven former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission have banded together to support the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The group, led by Roderick Hills, SEC chairman from 1975 to 1977 and now with D.C.-based Hills, Stern & Morley, filed a friend-of-the-court brief last week opposing a suit challenging the board’s creation. The suit, filed in February in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by conservative think tank the Free Enterprise Fund and Nevada accounting firm Beckstead and Watts, argues that the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that established the board violate the appointments clause of the Constitution and separation-of-powers principles. The group of former SEC chairmen, which includes Arthur Levitt, Jr., Harvey Pitt, and William Donaldson, hired Richard Pildes, a constitutional-law scholar at New York University School of Law, to write the brief, Hills says. The next hearing in the case is expected to come in late October, says Michael Carvin, a partner in Jones Day’s D.C. office who is arguing the case on behalf of the Free Enterprise Fund.
Alexia Garamfalvi can be contacted at [email protected].

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