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Sign Our Petition to End Gag Rules!

For decades the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been silencing defendants with its Gag Rule. But this federal agency is not alone. Others like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have similar rules in place that gag defendants for life when they settle. As a people, we should never tolerate the injustice of the government silencing Americans. You can help us stop it. Sign our petition today.


His Story.

When Barry D. Romeril settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June of 2003 he didn’t know he would live to regret it 16 years later. That’s because to settle his case, the SEC required that he agree to be bound by the SEC’s Gag Order. 

As a result of SEC’s gag policy, Petitioner Barry Romeril, who reached a no-admit-no-deny settlement with the Commission in 2003, has since been unable to discuss his case publicly. Mr. Romeril, who formerly served as Chief Financial Officer at Xerox, desires to speak truthfully about SEC’s case and offer his opinions about the proceedings against him. However, because he does not want to violate an SEC Order that was transformed into a binding federal court order—nor even risk doing so—he has refrained from making statements that might be deemed to “create an impression” that the Complaint in his case lacked a factual basis or was without legal merit.

NCLA is fighting to remove the gag order from his consent agreement because it is an unconstitutional prior restraint and content-based restriction on speech, abridging the freedom of the press, and Americans’ right to petition. 

In October of 2018, NCLA pioneered the legal challenges to this rule by petitioning the SEC to amend its gag rule, setting forth in detail the numerous constitutional and legal infirmities of this unconstitutional and disturbing practice. 

Now, we’re taking this all the way to the highest court in the land and the government. In March 2022, NCLA filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a review of the constitutionality of SEC’s gag orders, which the Commission requires in virtually all settled cases.With NCLA’s help, settling defendants whom SEC has muzzled for decades might get a chance at finally having their voices heard.

Sign the Petition


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PETITION about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s “Gag Rule”

SEC and some other federal financial regulators have “gag rules” in place that forbid defendants who settle charges brought by the agency from contesting any of the “facts” or allegations included in the original complaint against them. 

SEC adopted its “gag rule” unlawfully by falsely calling it a “housekeeping rule” to avoid required notice and comment processes, even though it applies the rule against third parties outside the agency.

SEC refuses to settle unless defendants include this “gag rule” in the settlement agreement.  It is not an option.  It is not negotiable.  But it silences them for life.

By the time SEC agrees to a settlement, it knows full well that not all of its original allegations were true, but it still refuses to allow a defendant to refute them.  

SEC thus forbids defendants from even saying truthful speech!

SEC’s prior restraint of defendants’ speech clearly violates the First Amendment.

The government needs to know that it is high time to end this abusive practice!  Otherwise, SEC will keep dodging critical scrutiny of its enforcement practices.

Sign NCLA’s petition today to tell SEC what you think about its unconstitutional gag rule!  Please lend your voice to NCLA’s fight against SEC’s unfair policy!

  1. I believe the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech
    for SEC defendants.
  2. I do not believe the SEC should be able to forbid defendants
    who settle charges from engaging in truthful speech.
  3. I demand that the SEC repeal its unlawful gag rule.

Does anything offend the First Amendment more than government censorship of speech?


#EndGagRules Now!