Bankruptcy Courts and Stare Decisis: The Need for Restructuring

Part I of this Note provides background by summarizing the rules of stare decisis. Part II refutes the contention that the present court structure allows bankruptcy judges not to follow domestic district court precedent. Part II asserts that, in pursuit of legitimate ends, bankruptcy judges have employed illegitimate means. Finally, Part II contends that bankruptcy judges are better equipped to make bankruptcy decisions than district judges. Part III concludes that the bankruptcy system should be restructured to allow bankruptcy judges to make decisions without being constrained by district court precedent or appeals. Such reform could achieve the substantive goals desired by bankruptcy judges without undermining the current structure of the judicial system.