Bonus 17: Bye, Bye, Bankruptcy Courts!
The second installment in my tour of favorite opinions by former Justices features then-Justice Rehnquist's concurring opinion in a 1982 decision that struck down the entire bankruptcy court system
Welcome back to the weekly bonus content for “One First.” Although Monday’s regular newsletter will remain free for as long as I’m able to do this, much of Thursday’s content is behind a paywall to help incentivize those who are willing and able to support the work that goes into putting this newsletter together every week. I’m grateful to those of you who are already paid subscribers, and hope that those of you who aren’t yet will consider a paid subscription if your circumstances permit:
One of the central distinctions between the substance of Monday’s free issues and that of Thursday’s bonus content is the personalization of the latter. To that end, today features the second in a new subset of bonus content posts, in which I will, from time to time, write up my favorite opinion from a former Justice (I won’t get to all of them, with sincere apologies to the Justice Todd fans among you.)
This week, my subject is Justice William H. Rehnquist, who served on the Court as an Associate Justice from 1971–86, and as the sixteenth Chief Justice from 1986–2005. Across those 33+ years (the eighth-longest tenure in the Court’s history overall), Rehnquist wrote a lot of opinions, some of which I even agree with. And although there are probably better ones out there, my personal favorite is his opinion concurring in the judgment in the 1982 Northern Pipeline case—in which the Court struck down the entire bankruptcy court system on Article III/separation-of-powers grounds.