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NYLJ: Metlitsky Tapped to Argue Before SCOTUS in High-Stakes Dispute Over SEC Judges

January 19, 2018  

Anton Metlitsky, an O’Melveny partner and former clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., has been appointed by the United States Supreme Court to argue an “orphaned” position in a major debate over the status of administrative law judges at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as the New York Law Journal reported January 19, 2018. The case, Lucia v. SEC, is an appeal of a 2016 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that administrative judges are SEC employees rather than constitutional officers subject to selection by the president, a court, or a department head.

The high court agreed to hear the case earlier this month, creating an interesting scenario given that the government in November indicated it would no longer defend the DC Circuit ruling. In situations like these, the court appoints someone to defend the orphaned lower court ruling so that both sides can be heard.

“By tradition, the justice who oversees the circuit that decided the case below picks one of his or her former law clerks to argue. Roberts oversees the DC Circuit, so it is not surprising that one of his clerks was named,” the NYLJ noted. “Metlitsky, an appellate specialist, has not argued previously before the Supreme Court, but that too conforms to tradition. These appointments have been launching pads for numerous Supreme Court advocates—including Roberts himself.”

Based in New York, Metlitsky’s diverse legal experience includes drafting numerous briefs in the US Supreme Court, state and federal courts of appeals, and trial courts. He has also presented oral argument in the New York Court of Appeals, the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.