Short Circuiting the Administrative Judiciary: A Response to Linda Jellum

Marshall J. Breger, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law


Linda Jellum provides a powerful analysis of the status of the exhaustion process for the SEC administrative judiciary and more broadly of the entire administrative judiciary.1 Many of her arguments are telling and on point. I disagree with a number of her technical and statutory arguments, and even more so the consequences of her analysis for the administrative state as we know it.

Jellum’s argument is that Congress did not intend to preclude district courts from hearing constitutional challenges to SEC adjudications because agency ALJs are not the right adjudicators to hear challenges to the constitutionality of their own operations.2

1. Linda D. Jellum, The SEC’s Fight to Stop District Courts from Declaring Its Hearings Unconstitutional, 101 TEXAS L. REV. 339 (2022).

2. Id. at 341.