NewYorkUniversity
LawReview
Current Issue

Volume 76, Number 3

June 2001

Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction and Agency Action: Resolving the NextWave of Conflict

Rafael Ignacio Pardo

In this Comment, Rafael Pardo criticizes a recent pair of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, FCC v. NextWave Personal Communications, Inc. (In re NextWave Personal Communications, Inc.) and In re FCC. Those cases held that a bankruptcy court lacks jurisdiction to determine whether the Federal Communications Commission is stayed from revoking a debtor’s licenses. Pardo argues that the court of appeals interpreted the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction too narrowly because it failed to distinguish properly between an agency’s action as a creditor and as a regulator. He concludes that bankruptcy courts and courts of appeals have concurrent jurisdiction to make automatic stay determinations regarding FCC licenses and that, for reasons of institutional competence, courts of appeals should defer to this exercise of jurisdiction by bankruptcy courts.