In the cage match of the securities bar, Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta, Solicitor General Paul Clement has sided with corporate interests over investors. On Wednesday, Clement filed an amicus brief for defendants in this Supreme Court case that could decide whether lawyers, accountants, bankers and other deep pockets can be sued by private investors for activities that arguably go beyond merely aiding and abetting corporate fraud.

The tensions stirred by this case extend beyond the usual plaintiff-corporate growling. In an extraordinary turn of events, the case has exposed a rift between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bush administration and its Department of Justice. The SEC had voted to support investors, a position that Clement rebuffed.