In oral arguments on Wednesday, the justices appeared to search for a middle ground in deciding what constitutes a benefit to a tipper.
The Justice Department pursued a different track in a recent case, arguing that it didn’t have to prove that a benefit flowed from a recipient to a tipper.
The Justice Department has asked the court to review a decision to overturn two insider trading convictions, but it might not like the answer it gets.
The court will decide what benefit must be provided to prove a quid pro quo arrangement, and it could take insider trading law in a new direction.
The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to review an insider trading case, but an S.E.C. administrative judge might have undercut its argument.