No Supreme Hearing For Bulldog In Free Speech Fight

May 15 2012 | 12:57pm ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Bulldog Investors' appeal of a three-year old fine for allegedly marketing its hedge fund in Massachusetts.

The high court declined yesterday to grant certiorari, ending Bulldog's fight against the $25,000 levy. And Bulldog's ultimate success fighting the federal prohibition on hedge fund marketing may be why it lost before the nine.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who levied the fine and with whom Bulldog founder Philip Goldstein has engaged in a public war of words, argued that Goldstein's appeal should be denied because Congress earlier this year did away with the marketing ban.

"As a result, and provided that it shows compliance with the exemptions' other requirements, Bulldog will be able to do what it has been seeking to do: engage in general advertising of its unregistered securities under both federal law and state law," Galvin wrote in his reply to Bulldog's petition. The JOBS Act "will divest this case of whatever significance it might otherwise be claimed to have," Galvin added.

Not so, Bulldog argued. Galvin has not rescinded either the fine or cease-and-desist order—and has said he will not do so. And the JOBS Act neither fully vindicates Bulldog's First Amendment argument nor its Internet personal jurisdiction argument.

"The fact that the secretary will not consider altering his order confirms that he does not see this matter as moot," Bulldog wrote in its reply on April 16.


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