In Sturges v. Crowninshield,4 affirmed in Ogden v. Saunders,5 the court held that the power to establish bankruptcy laws is not exclusively vested in Congress, but may be exercised by the States in the absence of federal legislation.
3 Story, Commentaries, Ch. VI. In Sturges v. Crowninshield (4 Wh. 122: 4 L. ed. 520), Marshall says: "The bankrupt law is said to grow out of the exigencies of commerce, and to be applicable solely to traders; but it is not easy to say who must be excluded from, or may be included within, this description. It is, like every other part of the subject, one to which the legislature may exercise an extensive discretion. This difficulty of discriminating with any accuracy between insolvent and bankrupt laws would lead to the opinion that a bankrupt law may contain those regulations which are generally found in insolvent laws; and that an insolvent law may contain those which are common to a bankrupt law." See Hanover National Bank v. Moyses (186 U. S. 181; 22 Sup. Ct. Rep. 857; 46 L. ed. 1113), in which the authorities on this point are reviewed.
4 4 Wh. 122; 4 L. ed. 529. 6 12 Wh. 213; 6 L. ed. 606.