It will be interesting to see where this goes:
LANSING — 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judge says Thursday’s historic Detroit bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution and state law and must be withdrawn.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.” More…