Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Supreme Court drops a Smartbomb on Dannielynn Smith

I've  been  otherwise engaged over the last couple of days and so I haven't been able to absorb everything abut the maybe-final chapter of the Anna Nicole Smith saga but it seems to me the one unambiguous inference is that the Supreme Court's five-justice majority has strained every sinew  to make sure that the brat never gets a penny.*  The case presented (as the Court described it) the question "whether a bankruptcy court judge who did not enjoy such tenure and salary protections had the authority .... to enter final judgment on a counterclaim." So stated, this goes to the heart of the matter, but the court responds with a good-for-this-day-and-train opinion, taking out the particular "judgment" and leaving virtually every other interesting issue in abeyance (Scalia seems to have grasped this point).   Thus we learn that the bankruptcy court can't enter final judgment on this sort of issue, and so the judgment in favor of Anna's estate is a nullity. For the moment, I suspect the bankruptcy sodality can finesse the issue by letting the bankruptcy judge propose final judgment for the district judge to enter.    Whether this particular workaround is itself constitutional remains for another day.  But whatever the ultimate result, it is too late for he ghost of Anna.


1 comment:

New York Crank said...

Why am I not surprised that Chief Justice Roberts' first reference to the law is the case of Jaundyce vs. Jaundyce?

The man has one of the finest minds of the 19th Century.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank