A federal appeals court ruled that the Securities and Exchange Commission overstepped its authority in updating rules governing brokers who offer financial advice.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sided with the Financial Planning Association, which sued the SEC over its original 1999 proposal -- which was never actually adopted. The association said that the rule violated distinctions Congress intended to apply to brokers and investment advisers.

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