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Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court


  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316613238

£ 40.99

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About the Authors
  • In this illuminating work, Ronald J. Mann offers readers a comprehensive study of bankruptcy cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. He provides detailed case studies based on the Justices' private papers on the most closely divided cases, statistical analysis of variation among the Justices in their votes for and against effective bankruptcy relief, and new information about the appearance in opinions of citations taken from party and amici briefs. By focusing on cases that have neither a clear answer under the statute nor important policy constraints, the book unveils the decision-making process of the Justices themselves - what they do when they are left to their own devices. It should be read by anyone interested not only in the jurisprudence of bankruptcy, but also in the inner workings of the Supreme Court.

    • The analysis of closely divided cases provides crucial new evidence on the Court's interpretive methods
    • Uses new empirical methodology to illuminate evidence about where the Court looks for information in its decision-making process
    • Provides insights about what drives the Court to its narrow bankruptcy decisions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Both bankruptcy specialists and scholars of the Supreme Court will find this book fascinating. Mann's analysis of the way that generalist judges understand bankruptcy issues provides priceless insights to specialists. He also shows how the Court's decisions on apolitical issues often 'rest on various types of information not immediately apparent even to a trained observer.' Jay L. Westbrook, Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law, University of Texas School of Law

    'Ronald J. Mann's book is a masterpiece of outstanding academic scholarship. It is more than the single best scholarly inquiry into bankruptcy law in the United States Supreme Court. Sophisticated, probing, and insightful, Mann has deftly combined his expertise as a Supreme Court advocate, former Supreme Court law clerk, and preeminent bankruptcy law scholar to produce the best book of any kind on the dynamics of contemporary Supreme Court advocacy and decision making.' Richard Lazarus, Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

    'Mann offers a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court's decision making away from the spotlight. This book is a fascinating exploration of the Court's efforts in cases that generate little public attention but divide the justices … This is a book that should be read by Court watchers, who can gain a better appreciation for how the Court works on the inside, and bankruptcy aficionados, who sometimes shake their heads quizzically at the Court's decisions in this area.' Robert K. Rasmussen, J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law and Political Science, University of Southern California Gould School of Law

    'Mann and Veenstra offer a tour through cases over the last 40 years in the Supreme Court that deal with bankruptcy. The most obvious consumers are Supreme Court legal scholars and political scientists. But Mann's dissection of particular cases will interest two other groups: advocates and voyeurs. By reporting the raw bargains among members of the Court and by showing justices' migration from the majority to the dissent and vice versa, Mann offers an uncommon opportunity to step behind the curtain. The view there will inform advocates and titillate the voyeurs.' James J. White, Emeritus Professor, University of Michigan Law School

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316613238
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Setting the Stage:
    1. Literature review
    2. Data and methods
    3. Congress and the Bankruptcy Code of 1978
    4. By the numbers
    Part II. The Hard Cases
    Section 1. A Tale of Missed Opportunities: Congress, the Court, and the Bankruptcy Clause:
    5. From marathon to wellness: assessing the 'public[ity]' of the bankruptcy power
    6. Sovereign immunity and the bankruptcy power: from Hoffman to Katz
    Section 2. A Study in Interpretive Strategy: The Court, the Solicitor General, and the Code:
    7. Bankruptcy versus labor law: Bildisco
    8. Bankruptcy versus environmental law: midLantic
    9. Bankruptcy versus criminal law: Kelly
    10. Setting text against tradition: Ron Pair
    11. Bankruptcy and state sovereignty: BFP
    Part III. Amici and the Court:
    12. The Supreme Court, the Solicitor General, and statutory interpretation
    13. Learning from amici
    Part IV. Conclusion: Appendix A. The Supreme Court's bankruptcy cases
    Appendix B. Available papers of the Justices
    Appendix C. References to the hard cases
    Appendix D. Sources of the Court's citations
    Appendix E. Sources from the Solicitor General and other amici.

  • Author

    Ronald J. Mann, Columbia Law School
    Ronald J. Mann has been a commercial law professor at Columbia University, New York for the last ten years. Previously he has taught at the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and Washington University, St Louis. He has also argued bankruptcy cases in the Supreme Court while working in the Office of the Solicitor General, and he has clerked for Justice Powell on the United States Supreme Court.

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