U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status

Docket Number


2015 Term

Oral Argument Date

March 22, 2016


Questions Presented

Whether Chapter 9 of the federal Bankruptcy Code, which does not apply to Puerto Rico, nonetheless preempts a Puerto Rico statute creating a mechanism for the Commonwealth's public utilities to restructure their debts.

Case Updates

U.S. Supreme Court holds that federal bankruptcy law preempts Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act

June 13, 2016

The Supreme Court held that the federal Bankruptcy Code expressly preempts Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act. The opinion relied on the Court’s previous decision in Chamber of Commerce of United States of America v. Whiting to conclude that the express preemption provision in Section 903 of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits Puerto Rico from taking matters into its own hands by implementing the Recovery Act.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

February 25, 2016

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to affirm that Puerto Rico’s Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (“Recovery Act”), designed to provide special protection to Puerto Rico’s financially troubled public utilities, is preempted by federal bankruptcy law. The brief argues that Section 903(1) of the Bankruptcy Code preempts Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act and explains that such state laws jeopardize bankruptcy uniformity and disrupt the national economy by deterring investment in infrastructure.

William S. Consovoy and Bryan K. Weir of Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Case Documents