Standard Investment Chartered, Inc. v. National Association of Securities Dealers, et al

Qualified Immunity and Sovereign Immunity
Case Description: 

This case presents the question whether private corporations that participate in regulating Wall Street (such as the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Security Dealers) are entitled to absolute immunity for fraudulent conduct that is incidental to their regulatory powers. The court of appeals held that NASD is entitled to immunity, and the plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari. On behalf of Public Citizen, POGO, US PIRG, and Consumer Action, we filed an amicus brief in support of the petition. We argue that the immunity granted to these organizations is based on a theory of sovereign immunity, and that the petition should be granted to resolve the tension among circuit decisions applying sovereign immunity to non-sovereign entities and to provide guidance regarding when—if ever—non-sovereign entities are entitled to derivative sovereign immunity. In January 2012, the Supreme Court denied the petition to hear the case.