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418


Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Are there further amendments? The gentleman from New York, Mr. Nadler.

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman?

Mr. NADLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have an amendment at the desk, Nadler number 1.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The clerk will report the amendment.

Mr. NADLER. Nadler number 1.

The CLERK. Amendment to S. 256 offered by Mr. Nadler. At an appropriate place, insert the following ("and'——

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, move to dispense with the reading.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Let's look at it first.

Mr. NADLER. Okay.

The CLERK. "(and make such technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate): Section—Nondischargeability of debts incurred through violations of civil rights laws. (a) Debts incurred through violations of civil rights laws—Section 523(a) of title 11, United States Code, as amended by section 224, is amended—(1) in paragraph (18) by strike "or" at the end; (2) in paragraph (19) by striking the period at the end and inserting'——

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the amendment is considered as read.

[The amendment follows:]

 

 

 

 




421

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman from Utah?

Mr. NADLER. Excuse me. Don't I have a chance to explain the bill.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman from Utah?

Mr. CANNON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to reserve a point of order.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman—a point of order is reserved. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. NADLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

This amendment would make debts arising from civil—from judgments from civil rights violations nondischargeable. The amendment includes every civil rights violation listed in the Federal criminal code, any civil judgment arising under a civil rights violation, including a section 1983 action, which is to say a judgment against someone for violating someone's civil rights under color of law, or an intentional violation of a valid court order enforcing a civil rights law described in the amendment. It also includes offenses under State law that consist of conduct that would be a civil rights crime described in the Federal criminal codes. Finally, it repairs an omission in the current code that makes fines and restitution ordered under the Federal criminal code nondischargeable, but does not make fines and restitution ordered under State law nondischargeable. My amendment would add the State law.

So if you violate the right to vote, the right to work, the rights of a person wearing the uniform of the United States military, the right to the free exercise of religion, the right of freedom of access to clinic entrances, or any other federally protected civil rights, you will not be able to abuse the Bankruptcy Code either to escape your debts or to force your victims to chase you across the country through bankruptcy courts trying to collect lawful judgments.

We know that is a common strategy, and even where it fails, the uncertainty in the law gives the tort feasors the opportunity to inflict more damage and more expense on their victims. This bill expands the types of nondischargeable debts. It makes nondischargeable even small cash advances leading up to the filing of a case. It's not enough money to keep your kids in Huggies, Mr. Chairman, but we're protecting the helpless credit card companies.

If you use—anyway, this is the wrong page. This amendment simply makes all these different judgments arising from State or Federal civil rights violations not dischargeable in bankruptcy, including violations of 1983, which is a violation of civil rights under color of law, and that's an abuse of the code and we should not allow it, and I urge the amendment.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Does the gentleman from Utah insist upon his point of order?

Mr. CANNON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd make a point of order that the amendment does not amend a specific section or specific text.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. You wish to argue in favor of your point of order?

Mr. NADLER. I don't understand the point of order. What do you mean it doesn't amend a specific section?

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman from Utah has the right to argue in favor of his point of order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


422

Mr. NADLER. I'm just asking a question.

Mr. CANNON. I think it's fairly obvious. The amendment on its face says that "at the appropriate place insert," and makes—I believe that the rules of Committee——

Mr. NADLER. It doesn't say that.

Mr. CANNON. No, the amendment says "at an appropriate place insert the following (and make such technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate." I believe the rules of the Committee require that an amendment specifically amend a section or particular language within a section.

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman?

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Does the gentleman from New York wish to be heard in opposition to the point of order?

Mr. NADLER. Yes. This——

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Or does he wish to concede the point of order?

Mr. NADLER. No. I wish to contest the point of order. This is a standard form of amendment. We do it all the time in this Committee, and I'm not aware of the rule you're talking about. And if there is such a rule, it's never enforced. This is a standard form that is done every week in this Committee. If you look at all the amendments we've done, probably half of them are done in this form.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Well, the Chair is prepared to rule.

Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, may I be heard?

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The Chair is prepared to rule. Chapter 27 of Deschler's Precedents, Section 1.2/8, says that an amendment must contain instructions to the clerk as to the portion of the text it seeks to amend. This amendment does not do that, and the Chair is prepared to sustain the point of order——

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I'll withdraw the amendment. It'll be resubmitted in a few minutes.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Okay. The amendment——

Mr. NADLER. In proper form.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The amendment is withdrawn.

Are there further amendments?

Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman?

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman from New York.

Mr. NADLER. I have an—now, let me make sure that this is drafted in the same—not in the same way. No, it's okay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I have an amendment at the desk, amendment number 2.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The clerk will report the amendment.

Mr. NADLER. Number 2.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The clerk will report Nadler number 2.

The CLERK. Amendment to S. 256, offered by Mr. Nadler, "Page 213, line 11, strike the close quotation marks and the period at the end."

"Page 213, after Line 11, inst the following (and make such technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate):"

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the amendment is considered as read.

[The amendment follows:]

 

 

 

 

 





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