Restructuring and Finance Litigation partner Steven B. Smith recently met with Phil Neuffer, the Managing Editor of ABF Journal, to discuss the recent United States Supreme Court decision Siegel v. Fitzgerald, No. 21-441, in which the Court unanimously held that a significant quarterly fee increase applicable to debtors in the United States Trustee judicial districts and not to debtors in the Bankruptcy Administrator judicial districts located in North Carolina and Alabama violated the uniformity requirement of the Constitution’s Bankruptcy Clause. The ABF Journal interview will be featured in a series of podcast episodes and will focus on the history of the dual United States Trustee and Bankruptcy Administrator programs which led to North Carolina’s and Alabama’s different, non-uniform, treatment, enactment of the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 and the Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act of 2020, and various court decisions over the years addressing the constitutionality of having two different funding sources to operate the program. Steven also discusses the parties’ arguments to the Supreme Court and their differing interpretations of the Bankruptcy Clause’s grant of power to Congress to establish “uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.”
The first of the three-part series can be found here: The ABF Journal Podcast.