U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ordered the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday to stop pursuing an in-house enforcement action against Barbara Duka, a former Standard & Poor's executive, over her role in an alleged fraud involving mortgage debt ratings. Berman said it was likely that the appointment of the SEC's five administrative law judges violated the U.S. Constitution. This is the third federal judge in the last two months to question how the SEC's in-house judges are appointed. Berman's decision could set a precedent for other judges in his district.
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