Saving Detroit

What the hell?

Ruling the governor and Detroit’s emergency manager violated the state constitution, an Ingham County Circuit judge ordered Friday that Detroit’s federal bankruptcy filing be withdrawn.

“It’s absolutely needed,” said Judge Rosemary Aquilina, observing she hopes Gov. Rick Snyder “reads certain sections of the (Michigan) constitution and reconsiders his actions.”

The judge said state law guards against retirement benefits being “diminished,” but there will be no such protection in federal bankruptcy court.

I’m going to wait until we get some posting about where judge Aquilina is on the law. It seems to me that she’s saying since retirement benefits are guaranteed under state law, the city can not file for bankruptcy and potentially reduce those benefits. She might be right on the law, I don’t know. But as Veronique de Rugy points out, Detroit may have no choice. They have over $9 billion in unfunded pension requirements and over 60% of the workers in the system are retirees, not active workers.

There’s also this:

The filing involved a bit of courtroom drama.

With rumors it was imminent Thursday afternoon, attorneys representing the pension boards hurried into Aquilina’s court in Lansing to ask for a temporary restraining order.

But Snyder and Orr beat them by a few minutes. Aquilina, informed by phone, allowed the pension board lawyers to revise their restraining order request, then granted it.

Prior to her ruling on Friday, the judge criticized the Snyder administration and Schuette’s office over their hasty move.

“It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good people who work,” the judge told assistant state Attorney General Brian Devlin. “It’s also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy.”

Actually, your honor, he took them into bankruptcy so that they could their debts under control. The Detroit Free Press claims she’s sending copies of her order to Obama (Update: Adam Steinbaugh claims this is the note). What the fuck Barack Obama has to do with Detroit’s bankruptcy, I have no idea.

I will again wait until I see what someone with a legal background posts about the ruling. My initial impression is that a judge is acting outside the law and needlessly politicizing this (politicizing it on the blogs or in debate is fine; in a courtroom, not so much).

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    I think the legal system in this country is just about reached epic levels of shitstorm crazy.

    While I don’t think it started with Obama, the joke we have of an AG that by all rights should be rotting in prison has urged things on to higher levels of idiocy in the name of the law.

    I seriously think we need to consider a purge of our entire legal system; laws, cops, judges, & prosecutors and start over after making examples out of the most egregious perpetrators of malicious prosecution, badge means I get away with everything, and nutjubs on the bench.

    Hell, this is the second judge in a week that makes the case for her own removal from the bench just by talking.

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  2. Thrill

    What the fuck Barack Obama has to do with Detroit’s bankruptcy, I have no idea.

    About as much as he had to do with the shooting of Trayvon Martin, I suppose.

    Oddly, he doesn’t seem to think he has anything to do with America’s eventual bankruptcy.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    Oddly, he doesn’t seem to think he has anything to do with America’s eventual bankruptcy.

    Bush’s fault. Everything is Bush’s fault. The failure of Obamacare, the bankruptcy of Detroit, the budget deficit. I swear, if a meteor hit us, the last words uttered before it incinerated the Earth would be Obama saying, “this is the fault of the last administration.”

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    Makes me wonder – how long did FDR blame everything on his predecessors? Astoundingly, despite wide evidence that he was extending the depression and even making it worse, the marxist in chief was elected to 3 more terms (and please, don’t bother with protestations that FDR wasn’t a marxist at heart, there is just far too much evidence, much of it in his own words, to honestly say otherwise. Pretty much like Obama). I don’t know if the press was sucking his cock on a daily basis like it does for Obama today, but it would seem that there would have to been massive complicity in disinformation for the public to continue to punish themselves so.

    I expect the next couple years will be rife with “capitalism just doesn’t work – at least not without the government guiding it” as public policy/campaign strategy.

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  5. Dave D

    I don’t believe this was done in time. The Federal bankruptcy went into effect 5 minutes before this was issued, if I understand it correctly.

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  6. Dave D

    Downvote, Nexus.

    Detroit does not need to “rot” but it needs major reform and hard bankrupcy facts imposed on it. They have been essentially bankrupt for over 20 years. They just haven’t faced up to it because of borrowing from a once-positive future. What does that sound like?

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    I take “rot” to mean “get themselves out of the mess they put themselves into” – Detroit needs to face hard realities and not have this strung out even longer to get an even deeper hole dug for itself.

    There should be no federal bailout – our taxes are not to be given to this disaster. Once the precedent has been set then numerous cities with similar problems will start lining up with their hand out demanding cash.

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  8. AlexInCT

    There should be no federal bailout – our taxes are not to be given to this disaster. Once the precedent has been set then numerous cities with similar problems will start lining up with their hand out demanding cash.

    It won’t end with cities lining up for cash: CA is already telling the Feds bailout, or else. And if they bail out CA, then all the other blue shitholes will want some-some too. And I am sure that if the Feds bail out anybody they will be back in a year or two looking for more. When you do not need to worry about money because you have a sugar daddy that can pay your debts off, why worry about spending. Even the idiots in DC should see the plain writing on the wall, but of course we are dealing with scumbags that might actually see all of this as a boon instead of a disaster in the making.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    Perhaps we can all move to the Republic of Texas later on. You know, ’cause that’s where all the jobs are going….

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