Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit Bankruptcy Claim Ruled Unconstitutional

It's no secret that the corporations are setting out to become the only ruling faction of every state in the
nation.  While one can easily see them doing the same thing in state after state, sometimes they employ different tactics, depending on state rules and other factors.

In Michigan, we see this with the implementation of Fiscal Emergency Managers.  These emergency managers would be the same as a hatchet man in the private sector world - someone whose sole job is to shut down the company so that that the vulture capitalists can gorge themselves.

Last week, the emergency manager for Detroit said that he was going to file for bankruptcy immediately because he couldn't or didn't want to pay the city's bills, including the city's workers pension.  In other words, it was a blatant raid on the pension system, stealing from the workers to give to Governor Rick Snyder's corporate masters.

Too bad for them that their pension raid is unconstitutional:
An Ingham County judge says Thursday's historic Detroit bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution and state law and must be withdrawn.

But Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will appeal Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s Friday rulings and seek emergency consideration by the Michigan Court of Appeals. He wants her orders stayed pending the appeals, he said in a news release.

In a spate of orders today arising from three separate lawsuits, Aquilina said Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr must take no further actions that threaten to diminish the pension benefits of City of Detroit retirees.

“I have some very serious concerns because there was this rush to bankruptcy court that didn’t have to occur and shouldn’t have occurred,” Aquilina said.

“Plaintiffs shouldn’t have been blindsided,” and “this process shouldn’t have been ignored.”

Lawyers representing pensioners and two city pension funds got an emergency hearing with Aquilina Thursday at which she said she planned to issue an order to block the bankruptcy filing. But lawyers and the judge learned Orr filed the Detroit bankruptcy petition in Detroit five minutes before the hearing began.

Aquilina said the Michigan Constitution prohibits actions that will lessen the pension benefits of public employees, including those in the City of Detroit. Snyder and Orr violated the constitution by going ahead with the bankruptcy filing, because they know reductions in those benefits will result, Aquilina said.

“We can’t speculate what the bankruptcy court might order,” said assistant Attorney General Brian Devlin, representing the governor and other state defendants.

“It’s a certainty, sir,” Aquilina replied. “That’s why you filed for bankruptcy.”
The Michigan Attorney General has already said that he is going to file appeals on this ruling and on other cases which are in front of the judge. Apparently his argument is that the state and federal constitutions are unconstitutional.

I wish the people of Michigan the best as they take on this latest fight against the corporate overlords.

I would also like to mentally shake each of my fellow Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites if they don't think that the same thing could and would happen here.

1 comment:

  1. This thinly disguised attempt to steal public workers' pension funds is just another example of the ongoing, systematic looting, by the ruling class, of every repository of wealth still extant. Kudos to Judge Aquilina for standing up to these shameless, relentless thieves.

    I must really sting these guys to be thwarted by a woman, of all people.