It is a theory that will not die. Fifteen years have passed since the Supreme Court drove a stake through the heart of aiding and abetting securities fraud in Central Bank v. First Interstate Bank (1992). It came back like a zombie half-alive in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as a concept that only the Securities and Exchange Commission could use (or love).

Now the question before the Supreme Court in Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Charter Communications, with oral argument today, is whether liability under the federal securities laws — Rule 10b-5 — extends to silent partners in a fraudulent scheme.