Court Anna Nicole Smith Estate
June 24, 2011 by USA Post
Court Anna Nicole Smith Estate, The Supreme Court ruled Thursday against the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, Play boy Playmate, whose marriage to Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, 63 years her senior, resulted in a set epic fights between her and her son. All principals in the drama by now dead, but the case lived long enough to result in an important ruling and are divided into close cooperation in the separation of powers in the context of bankruptcy.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, declared unconstitutional a provision of the bankruptcy laws authorizing bankruptcy judges to hear certain types of claims. Because bankruptcy judges do not have the protection of life tenure guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution, the President of the Court, wrote, cannot decide “a common law cause of action, when action is not derived from or dependent on any system of regulatory agency. ”
That had the effect of overturning a bankruptcy court to grant Ms. Smith, whose real name is Vickie Lynn Marshall, who at one time and exceeded 400 million dollars. She had claimed that the son of Mr. Marshall, E. Pierce Marshall had interfered illegally with a gift she had expected from his father.
Chief Justice Roberts cited both Dickens’ “Bleak House” and the fundamental constitutional principles in explaining the decision. Under a contrary ruling, said, “Article III transform into the guardian of individual liberty and the separation of powers have long recognized in a mere illusion.”
But he said the decision “does not change much of anything.” It was, he wrote, a matter of principle. “A law can not legally undermine the authority of the judiciary than they can be removed completely,” wrote the chief justice.
Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion.
Judge Stephen G. Breyer dissented, saying that most had elevated form over substance and should have considered the case rather than pragmatic. He said the magnitude of interference in the judiciary was minimal, while the costs to the system insist that Ms. Smith said as heard in federal district courts were disappointing.
“A game that requires the Constitution of the jurisdiction of ping-pong between the courts,” he wrote, “could lead to inefficiency, increased costs, delays and additional unnecessary suffering among those who are facing bankruptcy.”
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan Sonia Sotomayor joined the dissent in the case, Stern v. Marshall, No. 10-179.
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