Delegation of Authority to Approve Suspension of Securities leading on a National Market

Headnotes: 

The President is authorized by the general delegation authority in 3 U.S.C. § 301 to delegate to the Secretary of the Treasury his authority to approve the suspension of securities trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission under § 12(k) of the Securities Act of 1934, since nothing in that section affirmatively prohibits delegation or specifically designates another officer to receive delegation of the function.

Nothing in the legislative history of § 12(k) suggests that Congress expected the President to exercise his approval authority personally. Indeed, Congress may have felt it necessary to make explicit the § 12(k) approval authority at all only because of the independence otherwise given the SEC. Thus the congressional intent could have been simply to give the President the option, which he might not otherwise have enjoyed, to supervise the agency’s decisions in this important area.

Updated July 9, 2014