Celotex Corp. v. Edwards, 514 U.S. 300, 15 (1995)

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Stevens, J., dissenting

attaches insufficient weight to the fact that the challenged injunction was issued by a non-Article III judge, I respectfully dissent.


The outlines of the problems I perceive are best drawn by starting with an examination of the injunctions and opinions issued by the Bankruptcy Judge in this case. As the majority notes, Bennie and Joann Edwards (the Edwards) won a tort judgment against Celotex Corporation for damages Bennie Edwards suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos. To stay the judgment pending appeal, Celotex arranged for Northbrook Property and Casualty Insurance Company (Northbrook) to post a supersedeas bond to cover the full amount of the judgment. On October 12, 1990, before Celotex filed its voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Edwards' judgment against Celotex. It is undisputed that, when the Edwards' judgment was affirmed, any property interest that Celotex retained in the supersedeas bond was extinguished.

The filing of Celotex's bankruptcy petition on October 12, 1990, triggered the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. See 11 U. S. C. 362(a). On October 17, 1990, the Bankruptcy Judge, acting pursuant to 11 U. S. C. 105(a),1 supplemented the automatic stay provisions with an emergency order staying, inter alia, all proceedings "involving any of the Debtors [i. e., Celotex]." App. to Pet. for Cert. A-28. The supersedeas bond filed in the Edwards' case, however, evidences an independent obligation on the part of

1 Title 11 U. S. C. 105(a) provides: "The court may issue any order, process, or judgment that is necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this title. No provision of this title providing for the raising of an issue by a party in interest shall be construed to preclude the court from, sua sponte, taking any action or making any determination necessary or appropriate to enforce or implement court orders or rules, or to prevent an abuse of process."

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