Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Damn Those Textualist Judges!

Or at least, that is what I imagine the credit card companies will be saying if other judges start applying the same reasoning that Chief Bankruptcy Judge Stephen D. Gerling applied in a recent case before him. When Congress passed the bankruptcy reform package last year, there was a mistake made in some of the language. The language changed the definition of "disposable income", which is very important to calculating how much someone in certain types of bankruptcy proceedings will have to pay to their debtors each month.

Apparently, the new version of "disposable income", if you read it and strictly apply the language, results in the bankrupt person being liable to spend less each month, because of exemptions, to those that they have outstanding debts.

Now most likely, someone will appeal this. This will then go up to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Depending on how much of a point someone wants to make, it could go up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, what would Scalia do with this? After all, for years he, along with other conservative jurists which include at times Justices Thomas and Alito and (possibly) the Chief Justice, has railed against activist judges, interpreting the will of legislature instead of applyin the law as written.

Well, that's what Chief Bankruptcy Judge Gerling did in his ruling.

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