Uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy in the United States. The granting of authority is under the auspices of the United States. States may not regulate bankruptcy, but they can pass laws that govern other aspects of the debtor-creditor relationship. It is important to note that, under current law, states cannot file for bankruptcy.
Therefore, Congress would have to pass a law that would allow it. The Supreme Court, which was so frankly recognized by one of its most prominent members half a century ago, is evident today in one line of its federalism cases. Supreme Court Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence has essentially closed the court door to individuals who may have a cause of action against a state under a variety of federal laws, unless the state specifically consents to being sued. The Court has held that Congress lacks the general power to hold states accountable to the courts for violating federal laws by virtue of some of its Article I powers, even though it recognizes that Congress may, in some cases, repeal this immunity under Article 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Rehnquist Court is essentially breathing new life into state rights doctrines that were rejected long ago. 1996 Supreme Court decision in the Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida held for the first time since the founding of the Republic that Congress has no authority to submit a state to the jurisdiction of a federal court at the behest of a person who enforces a federal right. The Seminole tribe case involved a controversy over the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act, passed by Congress pursuant to the Indian trade clause in Article I.
The Gaming Act allowed an Indian tribe to carry out specific gaming activities only if it had a valid agreement with the state in which the gaming activities were located. Under the Gaming Act, each state had a duty to enter into good faith negotiations with the tribes that resided within its borders to form a pact. If a state did not do so, tribes were allowed to sue the state in federal court to compel it to comply with the duty to negotiate. The state of Florida was sued in federal court by the Seminole tribe for violating the good faith bargaining clause.
Florida and its governor requested to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the lawsuit violated Florida's sovereign immunity from filing lawsuits in federal courts. The district court rejected the motion, but the appellate court reversed it and held that Congress did not have the power, under the Indian Commerce Clause of Article I, to repeal states' immunity under. With a vote of 5 to 4, the United States,. Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power to pass laws that establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy throughout the United States.
Therefore, the text of the bankruptcy clause contains a requirement for uniformity that is generally not found anywhere else in the litany of powers granted to the legislature. Beginning in 1800, Congress has exercised its bankruptcy power to create five successive systems of bankruptcy laws: the Bankruptcy Act of 18003, the Bankruptcy Act of 1841.4, the Bankruptcy Act of 1867.5, the Bankruptcy Act of 18986 and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, which created the current Code of. In Red Hood, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) appealed the decision of a Bankruptcy Appeals Panel that denied its motion to dismiss a debtor's petition for a hardship forgiveness of her student loan due to lack of jurisdiction. In the appeal, the TSAC argued that the bankruptcy clause of the Constitution, art.
I, §8, did not grant Congress the power to repeal the sovereign immunity of states in accordance with 11 U, S, C. Rather than rejecting or distinguishing the reasoning of the Seminole Tribe from the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit adopted it. Applying the Seminola Tribe, the Hood Court concluded that the bankruptcy clause of the Constitution gave Congress the power to repeal the sovereign immunity of. The Sixth Circuit noted that the question of whether Congress can validly repeal the state's sovereign immunity requires a two-step analysis, as established in a series of cases that began with the Seminola Tribe and extended to Alden v.
Maine9, in which the Supreme Court expanded the Seminola Tribe to limit the powers of Congress with respect to lawsuits in state courts as well. The first step in analyzing the Seminole tribe is to examine whether Congress adequately expressed its intention to repeal states' immunity from prosecution. Section 106 of the Bankruptcy Code specifically repeals states' immunity. Therefore, the Sixth Circuit focused largely on the second step of the analysis of the Seminole tribe, namely, a historical investigation into whether the drafters of the Constitution intended to grant Congress the power to bring states before federal courts, analyzing The Federalist Papers and other statements Del Frames.
Rather than basing its decision simply on the broad language of the Seminole tribe that prohibits Congress from repealing the state's sovereign immunity in accordance with its powers under Article I, the Hood Court examined the power of Congress over the bankruptcy clause as understood in the Constitutional Convention. While the Supreme Court has limited the ability of Congress to repeal states' sovereign immunity as part of a legislative preference for uniformity,13 the Hood Court noted that the question before it was whether a requirement of constitutional uniformity in itself authorized Congress to repeal sovereignty. State. immunity.
The answer to that question could only be found by examining the opinions of the drafters of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention and, together with John Jay and James Madison, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, who advocated the ratification of the proposed constitution, stated that the federal government had exclusive jurisdiction where the Constitution gave Congress the power to draft Uniform Laws. This must necessarily be exclusive, because if each state had the power to prescribe a DIFFERENT RULE, there could be no UNIFORM RULE. Federalist No.
Carey & James McClellan, red. The first federal cases similarly interpreted the granting of power as exclusive, pointing out that laws could only be uniform if issued by a single agent 14. The authority had to be exclusive, because any minor subsidy would have nullified the original purpose of the bankruptcy clause. Before 1789, debtor-creditor relations in the new nation were chaotic. Each state had different bankruptcy laws and no state had to enforce the consequences of a bankruptcy in another jurisdiction.
This systemic failure did not allow debtors to start from scratch as bankruptcy policies seek. The justification for granting exclusivity was to create a system that would exceed the interests of individual states. The Hood Court then examined whether, by ceding part of sovereignty with the bankruptcy clause, states ceded their legislative powers, but not their immunity, from the lawsuit. Returning to The Federalist, the Hood Court concluded that states discarded their immunity from prosecution along with their power to legislate when they accepted the uniformity provision of the bankruptcy clause.
As a result of its legal, constitutional and historical analysis, the Hood Court concluded that Article 106 is constitutional and allowed the debtor to continue her action for forgiveness due to economic difficulties. However, its impact is more far-reaching. Hood defends the proposition that constitutional issues require careful historical analysis, not a simplistic application of previous precedents. Your analysis of the original intent of the bankruptcy clause is enlightening and well-reasoned, and other courts should adopt it as a method of analysis.
However, state rights advocates may criticize Hood's decision for not delving deep enough into constitutional history. A more detailed analysis of this kind does not contradict the conclusion reached by the Hood Court, but rather strongly supports his claim. James Madison, the father of the United States,. The Constitution, a strong defender of the rights of states, saw no need to discuss the issue of sovereign state immunity by defending the appropriateness of the bankruptcy clause during ratification debates.
The Federalist, no. Madison added that the power to establish uniform bankruptcy laws is so closely related to the regulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds in which parts of your property can live or be moved to different states, that it seems unlikely that their convenience will be called into question. The only widely-read anti-federalist who discussed the issue at length, the Federal Farmer, didn't seem to decide whether he was for or against allowing Congress to exercise bankruptcy power. The arguments put forward by the Federal Farmer illustrate that even those who oppose the United States proposal,.
The Constitution realized that the bankruptcy clause would give the federal government the power to interfere with the internal police of the various states, for example, by subjecting them to bankruptcy laws. While many (including the author) believe that the Seminole tribe and the precedent that applied it were wrongly decided, they are still the law of the land. However, the decision of the Sixth In Red Hood Circuit demonstrates that the Seminola Tribe is not the end of the investigation into whether Congress has the power to repeal a state's sovereign immunity, but merely provides a framework for analyzing such issues from a legal and historical perspective. The Hood Court's conclusion that Article 106 and the bankruptcy clause give Congress sufficient power to repeal the state's sovereign immunity constitutes a historic decision, built on a firm historical foundation, and should, in and of itself, be adopted as the law of the land.
A state, of course, has no power to enforce any law governing bankruptcy that impairs the obligation of contracts (1454) extends to persons or assets outside its jurisdiction (1455), or that conflicts with domestic bankruptcy laws. . .