Statement on Signing Amendments to the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984

October 19, 1984

I am pleased to sign today H.R. 6216, an act to amend the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 to make technical corrections with respect to the retirement of certain bankruptcy judges. This legislation will allow all of the bankruptcy judges who otherwise are eligible to retire to receive the enhanced retirement benefits promised in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. These men and women continued to serve the Nation's bankruptcy system throughout the 2-year crisis between the Supreme Court's decision invalidating the bankruptcy courts' jurisdiction and the enactment of legislation creating a new, constitutional bankruptcy court structure.

When I signed that bankruptcy court legislation this past summer, however, I noted particular objection to two provisions that sought to continue the bankruptcy judges in office after Congress had allowed their terms to lapse. It is inconsistent with the Constitution for the Congress to make such appointments, and I urged that the Congress immediately repeal those provisions.

In this act, which provides retirement benefits for the bankruptcy judges, the Congress failed to address this continuing constitutional concern. Therefore, although I am approving H.R. 6216, I must express my disappointment that the Congress has left in place the one remaining uncertainty surrounding the operation of the new bankruptcy court system.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 6216 is Public Law 98 - 531, approved October 19.