Bulldog Takes Mass. Fight To Supreme Court

Feb 3 2012 | 12:26am ET

Bulldog Investors has made good on its pledge to take its free-speech fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The New Jersey hedge fund on Wednesday filed its petition for writ of certiorari with the country's highest court, seeking to have a three-year old fine for providing information about itself to a non-accredited investor overturned. Bulldog and its outspoken founder, Philip Goldstein, had no luck on that front in the courts of Massachusetts, where the fine was levied by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin.

Bulldog's appeal to the Supreme Court attacks Galvin's fine on two fronts, free-speech and jurisdiction. The petition is something of a Hail Mary pass for Bulldog—not only is the Supreme Court its last chance to junk the fine and make its point, but the Court accepts less than 2% of the petitions it receives.

On the bright side for Bulldog, it's enlisted famed constitutional lawyer and Harvard University law professor Laurence Tribe to serve as its counsel. Tribe has argued 34 cases before the Supreme Court.

Tribe called Massachusetts' branding of its law a "disclosure rule" "Orwellian" and asks the court to consider the fact that the Bulldog e-mail in question was truthful and not misleading. It also blasts Massachusetts for, in effect, saying that only rich people can learn about hedge funds.

The Supreme Court "has repeatedly rejected the 'highly paternalistic approach' that consumers should be 'kept in ignorance,'" the petition reads.

"A selective 'rich readers only' rule is precisely the kind of paternalistic snobbery that this Court has repeatedly condemned in commercial speech cases," it continues.

"The state's attempt to portray its ban on speech as a 'disclosure' rule, its creation of an audience-based censorship regime (in which only some members of the public are allowed to receive Bulldog's speech), and its reliance on sheer speculation" all warrant Supreme Court review. The petition goes on to say that the Court "has never held that a ban on truthful speech may be treated as a disclosure rule."


In Depth

Q&A: Neil Azous Talks Global Macro Investing

Nov 24 2014 | 12:41pm ET

Neil Azous is the founder and managing member of Rareview Macro, an advisory firm...

Lifestyle

Griffin Selling Chicago Apartment

Nov 26 2014 | 11:40am ET

Citadel Investment Group’s Kenneth Griffin is making clear to his estranged wife...

Guest Contributor

Why The Big Money Is Going To Europe

Nov 14 2014 | 6:03am ET

Peer-to-peer lending was invented with the individual investor in mind. But despite...

 

Sponsored Content

    For Hedge Funds, Mastering Data Is Key To Success

    Nov 4 2014 | 9:45am ET

    Data management is important to every business, but for hedge funds, it is critical. FINalternatives recently asked Peter Sanchez, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, how fund managers can deal with the demands of managing data while at the same time remain transparent and abide by operational best practices. Read more…

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

November 2014 Cover

Building a better market

Reg NMS created a huge bifurcation in equity markets and while much of what has followed has been positive, in terms of lower fees and greater liquidity, many traders would like to see the market come...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.