Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The complexity and possible invalidity of the 1984 amendments arise from Congress' refusal to constitute the bankruptcy courts as article III courts. The only group, if any, that this refusal has aided is the district court bench, by keeping their numbers small (except to the extent that additional bankruptcy duties re-quire additions to their numbers) and their status elite. The congressional action works against the needs of all parties involved in the functioning of the Bankruptcy Code and the judicial system itself. Debtors in Bankruptcy Code cases are left uncertain as to the authority of the bankruptcy courts adjudicating proceedings in their cases. New layers of potential litigation tactics have been added, which will further burden the bankruptcy court system and the district court system, both of which have sufficient real and legitimate work to perform. Aside from the merits of the arguments opposing the bankruptcy system instituted pursuant to the 1984 amendments, in view of the Supreme Court's pronouncements in Northern Pipeline, it is irresponsible for Congress to have enacted legislation containing such inherent risks of constitutional invalidity when the lives of so many financially troubled persons and companies look to the federal bankruptcy laws for a fresh start and reorganized future.