Bankruptcy Judgeships Legislation Signed Into Law

Bankruptcy Judgeships Legislation Signed Into Law

President Trump on October 26 signed legislation (H.R. 2266) that extends 14 temporary bankruptcy judgeships for five years and creates four new bankruptcy judgeships. The legislation provides certainty for temporary bankruptcy judgeships in eight states that were in danger of lapsing and provides relief to three judicial districts in Delaware, Florida, and Michigan with heavy bankruptcy caseloads.

The bankruptcy judgeship legislation moved rapidly through the House and Senate in October after it became a legislative vehicle for a $36.5 billion disaster relief package for Puerto Rico and several southern states. It cleared the Senate on October 24 by an 82-17 vote, after passing the House by a 353-59 vote on October 12. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) were the bipartisan champions of the bankruptcy legislation.

The bankruptcy judgeship provisions extend certain temporary bankruptcy judgeships in: the district of Delaware; southern district of Florida; district of Maryland; eastern district of Michigan; district of Nevada; eastern district of North Carolina; district of Puerto Rico; and eastern district of Virginia. They also create permanent bankruptcy judgeships in: district of Delaware (2); middle district of Florida (1); and eastern district of Michigan(1).

The Federal Bar Association actively supported the bankruptcy judgeships legislation and the authorization of additional bankruptcy judgeships. FBA delegates to Capitol Hill Day last May urged Congress to address the needs of the bankruptcy courts. Prior to passage of H.R. 2266, Congress had not created a new bankruptcy judgeship since 1992.