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Legislation

2012

Legal Studies and Business Ethics Papers

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State Bankruptcy From The Ground Up, David A. Skeel Jan 2012

State Bankruptcy From The Ground Up, David A. Skeel

Legal Studies and Business Ethics Papers

The nineteenth-century English poet William Wordsworth famously defined poetry as the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings ... recollected in tranquility."1 By this definition, there is something a little poetic about the recent debate as to whether Congress should enact a bankruptcy law for states. In late 2010, as the extent of the fiscal crisis in many states became clear, a handful of commentators and politicians proposed that Congress enact a bankruptcy law for states.2 "If Congress does its part by enacting a new bankruptcy chapter for states," one advocate concluded with a somewaht hyperbolic flourish, California governor "Jerry Brown ...