Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





University of California, Hastings College of the Law




Because of federal constitutional concerns, a municipal entity may resort to federal bankruptcy protection only with the authorization of its state. Federal law requires that a municipality be "specifically authorized" under state law to file for bankruptcy protection. Existing California law provides fairly broad authorization for its municipalities, but the statute is in need of both technical and substantive revision. After discussing constitutional concerns and surveying other states' approaches to municipal bankruptcy authorization, Professor Tung recommends a system of discretionary access, in which the governor holds discretionary power to approve, disapprove, or condition a municipality's access to bankruptcy.

Find on SSRN COinS

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.