Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

“Whether or Not the Supreme Court Is Infallible, It Is Final” and Alone Entitled to Revisit Its Precedents — Good Quote

Woolsey v. Citibank, N.A., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18597 (10th Cir. Sept. 4, 2012):

Like so many these days, Stephanie and Kenneth Woolsey owe more money on their home than it's worth. In fact, the value of their home doesn't come close to covering the balance due on their first mortgage, much less the amount they owe on a second. And it's that second mortgage, held by Citibank, at the center of our case. After the Woolseys sought shelter in bankruptcy, they prepared a Chapter 13 repayment plan. In their plan, they took the position that the bankruptcy code voids Citibank's lien because it is unsupported by any current value in the home. Naturally, Citibank didn't take well to the Woolseys' intentions. The bank objected to the Woolseys' plan and eventually persuaded the bankruptcy court to reject it. Later the district court, too, sided with Citibank and now the question has found its way to us.

Before us, though, the Woolseys don't just shrink from, they repudiate the only possible winning argument they may have had. They choose to pursue instead and exclusively a line of attack long foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent. To be sure, the Woolseys argue vigorously and with some support that the Supreme Court has it wrong. But, as Justice Jackson reminds us, whether or not the Supreme Court is infallible, it is final. See Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 540 (1953) (Jackson, J., concurring in the result). And it belongs to that Court, not this one, to decide whether to revisit its precedent. For now, and like the other judges to have passed on this case so far, we are obliged to apply the Court's current case law and that leads us, inexorably, to affirm.

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