Federal Bankruptcy Jurisdiction After October 4, 1982


The Supreme Court’s ruling in Northern Pipeline Construction Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982), invalidated those parts of the Bankruptcy Act of 1978 which gave power to non-Article III bankruptcy judges, but left its grant of jurisdiction to the district courts intact.

The Supreme Court’s invalidation of certain jurisdictional provisions of the Bankruptcy Act of 1978 did not result in automatic revitalization of any part of the bankruptcy laws repealed in 1978. Accordingly, after the effective date of the Court’s decision, the district courts will be obliged to rely on some source of authority other than the bankruptcy laws to refer bankruptcy cases to bankruptcy judges, even for limited fact-finding purposes.

Updated July 9, 2014