This comment examines the impact of United States Trust on traditional contract clause doctrines and policies. After an initial discussion of the factual and legal background, a historical survey will show the decision employs a new approach to contract clause analysis. Next, this comment will analyze the Court's new approach, especially the Court's treatment of impairments when a state is a contractual party, its willingness to make policy judgments formerly left to legislative discretion, and the decision's probable effect on any future municipal debt crises. Finally, in accord with Justice Brennan's dissent in United States Trust, this comment will conclude that the Court's former approach to contract clause issues was superior because the Court recognized the need for broad state powers to regulate governmental obligations.
Clifford D. Foster Jr., United States Trust Co. v. New Jersey-State Promises and the Contract Clause: An Untimely Resurrection, 1 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 299 (1978).