The US Constitution and Bankruptcy

by Douglas Jacobs, Esq.

July 6, 2007

Most of the rights granted to us by the US Constitution are found in the  Bill of Rights: the first ten amendments to the document itself.  The body (Articles) of this great document is mostly concerned with the operations of the government: the powers of Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court.

Article I, Section 8 lays out the general powers of Congress, and it specifically includes the power to create “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcy throughout the United States.”

This means, according to most Constitutional scholars, that there should be the same bankruptcy law for everyone in the country.

So, we all have a Constitutional Right to file bankruptcy!

The interpretation and extent (or limitation) of that right keeps changing, but know that if you have to file for bankruptcy protection you are exercising one of those rights mandated by the great minds who formed this country.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.

Last modified: October 12, 2012