Last week, in Wellness Int’l Network Ltd. v. Sharif, No. 13-935 (May 26, 2015), the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy court can enter final judgment on “non-core” claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157 if the parties consent to that court’s jurisdiction. It overturned a decision by the Seventh Circuit that relied heavily on the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Waldman v. Stone, 698 F.3d 910, 914 (6th Cir. 2012). As we explained previously, Waldman held that structural separation of powers concerns prevented litigants from consenting to entry final judgment by a bankruptcy court on claims that traditionally belonged before Article III courts. In Wellness, the Supreme Court took a practical and flexible approach to the separation of powers, finding that the doctrinal concerns against consent-based jurisdiction expressed by the Seventh and Sixth Circuits were unpersuasive.
The Supreme Court also recently affirmed the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Coleman-Bey v. Tollefson regarding the Prison Litigation Reform Act with a 9-0 vote. Our previous coverage of this case is here.