Central Va. Community College v. Katz - Oral Argument - October 31, 2005 Page 16

Central Va. Community College v. Katz

Media for Central Va. Community College v. Katz

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 23, 2006 in Central Va. Community College v. Katz

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 31, 2005 in Central Va. Community College v. Katz

Stephen G. Breyer:

So, then, you say, if you lose on it, it's unconstitutional for it to do so here, but it could... it is constitutional for it to do so insofar as there is this situation that the State brings a case against the estate, and you can do an offset, et cetera.

But it would have nothing to do with (b) and (c).

It would have to do with reading that into (a), I guess.

Kim Martin Lewis:

--I believe that's correct--

Stephen G. Breyer:

All right.

Kim Martin Lewis:

--Justice Breyer.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

In... I don't follow that, because I thought the theory of the cases were that you can waive something by conduct.

And so, when you ask a court for relief against a party, then it's reasonable to say,

"If you're coming in and asking the court to give you something, then it's only fair that your adversary should be able to-- "

Sandra Day O'Connor:

A light bulb exploded.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

I think we're... I think it's safe.

Stephen G. Breyer:

A light bulb went out.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

It's a trick they play on new Chief Justices all the time.

[Laughter]

Antonin Scalia:

Happy Halloween.

[Laughter]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

--Let me ask this--

Anthony M. Kennedy:

Take your time.

We're interested--

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We're even... yeah, we're even more in the dark now than before.

[Laughter]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

--If you lose on the abrogation notion, and the Court holds that there is no authority in Congress to abrogate sovereign immunity, still the bankruptcy code codifies what is, across the board, the law.

That is, if you come to a court and say, "Give me X against D", that D should be able to come back and say,

"Either I want full relief because it's a compulsory type counterclaim. "

"I have to bring it here. "

"I can't bring it separately. "

"Or at least a setoff. "

I mean, that was understood, that a party over whom the court would not have jurisdiction otherwise, is amendable to the court's jurisdiction to the extent of a counterclaim or a setoff.

So, I don't see why (b) and (c) are not discrete from (a).

(b) and (c) are implementing the idea of a setoff.