Securities Law Section

Message from the Chair

Section Chair:

Charles Niemeier
Williams & Connolly LLP
Washington, D.C.

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The Federal Bar Association - Securities Law Section is a proud sponsor of the virtual museum and archive of the history of financial regulation at this year.
While the museum is free and accessible to everyone at all times, the Section will highlight specific material and information within the museum on securities law issues in the coming months, providing current and prospective Section members with unique content and context for use at any time.
Speaking on the dangers of political contributions, SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt summarized, “There’s little doubt that ‘pay-to-play’ damages the integrity of the municipal bond market. It creates the impression that contracts are awarded on the basis of political influence, not professional competence.”
When the MSRB implemented Rule G-37 in 1994, it intended to curtail the pay-to-play practice.
Rule G-37 prohibited broker-dealers from engaging in business within two years of making a political contribution. Rather than targeting the ‘pay’, Rule G-37 prohibited the ‘play.’
The major challenge to Rule G-37 came almost as soon as it was implemented. William Blount, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, claimed that the rule violated his right to free speech. The D.C. Circuit Court rejected Blount’s argument and held that Rule G-37 was actually a form of industry self-regulation, not a federal mandate. Since the District Court’s ruling the MSRB has issued interpretative guidance for applying Rule G-37 to Political Action Committees and federal election activities.
The Federal Bar will continue to grapple with challenges to Rule G-37 in our nation’s evolving political landscape.


The Source: March 2017

The Source: December 2016

The Source: September 2016

The Source: June 2016

The Source: March 2016

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