June 25, 2008
Some Further Thoughts on the Supreme Court and Piccadilly
Just musing about how much the Piccadilly appeal cost and what it accomplished. I didn't spend any time wondering about the result when I saw that Justice Thomas was the author of the majority opinion. The code says no stamp tax can be assessed on sales under a chapter 11 plan, that's what it means. The tax was some $39,000 on a sale of some $80 million. What do you think the cost of the appeal was? From the Bankruptcy Court to the District Court to the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court? I'll bet the cost of printing the various briefs and appellate record was more than $39,000. And the Supreme Court will publish about 70 opinions this year according to Scotusblog. Since the annual budget of the Supreme Court is about $75 million, that opinion cost a million bucks. And why in the world did the court choose that case? It makes you wonder if they were looking for something for Thomas to do. And why in the world did Breyer bother to dissent? I like Breyer, but his dissent argued that it makes more sense to do what's practical rather than what Congress said. He should save those arguments for cases that matter. And why can't Congress just fix these things (showing my naivete)? The courts all agree that its Congress's choice. They could have whipped out a little amendment making it more clear what they meant.
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