Skip to main content

SCOTUS Bankruptcy Decision

June 09, 2022

Bankruptcy expert Prof. David A. Skeel offers his perspective on the Court’s decision in Siegel v. Fitzgerald.

In Siegel v. Fitzgerald, the Supreme Court recently held that Congress’ enactment of a significant fee increase that exempted debtors in two states violated the uniformity requirement of the Bankruptcy Clause.

David A. Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, released this statement on the decision:

While the Supreme Court makes clearly that the uniformity requirement in the Bankruptcy Clause of the U.S. Constitution allows a great deal of flexibility to deal with different conditions in different parts of the country — thus, the bankruptcy rules are not required to be precisely the same everywhere — Congress isn’t permitted to provide special carveouts that aren’t based on geographical differences. It therefore struck down the special deal that had exempted North Carolina and Alabama from the U.S. Trustee system.

Skeel is the author of True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (InterVarsity, 2014); The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences (Wiley, 2011); Icarus in the Boardroom (Oxford, 2005); Debt’s Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, 2001); and numerous articles on bankruptcy, corporate law, financial regulation, Christianity and law, and other topics.

He has also written commentaries for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Books & Culture, The Weekly Standard, and other publications.

Skeel recently chaired the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, known locally as “la Junta” and has received the Harvey Levin award three times for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class, the Robert A. Gorman award for excellence in upper-level course teaching, and the University’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.

Read more of our esteemed faculty’s perspectives on today’s legal issues.