The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed paperwork last Thursday to again challenge a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring that a mutual fund's chairman and three quarters of its directors be independent of the company.

The U.S. Court of Appeals filing was not unexpected after the SEC voted in a 3-2 vote on June 30 to reaffirm the proposal, first adopted in June 2004. After challenging the rule, the District of Columbia Circuit Court had sent the matter back to the SEC, saying that the rule's costs and alternatives had not been considered.

William Donaldson, who stepped down as the SEC's chairman the same day as the vote, had voted with the two Democrats on the five-member commission to endorse a reply to the court containing cost estimates and reject a disclosure alternative favored by the Republican commissioners. Cynthia Glassman, one of the commission's Republicans, is now serving as the acting SEC chair.

The chamber particularly took issue with the SEC's cost estimates, saying that a report defending the rule costs as minimal used old estimates that the agency had previously dismissed as unreliable. 

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