The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are at loggerheads over the growing debate surrounding new regulations requiring mutual fund boards to name independent directors and chairmen.

The spat came to a head in September when the chamber sued the SEC in September in an effort to reverse the new independent trustees rule. Industry observers anticipate a bitter dispute when the case begins on April 15.

Some legal activists have accused the SEC of overstepping its bounds by amending the Investment Company Act of 1940, which is considered by many investment executives to be the mutual fund industry’s Holy Bible.

Mutual fund heavyweights like Vanguard and Fidelity Investments are unabashedly opposed to the SEC’s independent trustee rule. Members of Congress, including Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) aligned themselves with the SEC’s critics by backing a recent bill requiring the SEC to review its independent trustee rule within a year.

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