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View Diary: John Conyers wants Eric Holder to review law that could put Detroit under an emergency manager (94 comments)

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  •  you left out the contract clause argument, (5+ / 0-)

    which illustrates that pensioners do, in fact, have constitutional rights.  If it takes a state-appointed city manager to void a contract, it follows from that the contract would have otherwise been honored.  note that this is in lieu of municipal bankruptcy, which would be in federal bankruptcy courts with appeals to article III judges, not political cronies of a state governor.

    the Detroit issue isn't one like Greece with fiscal profligacy or hiding debts.  what is it Detroit and Benton Harbor can do? By all accounts, Bing has been making some pretty harsh cuts, in fact, but he really shouldn't have to.  This isn't an emergency, here, it's the consequences of the votes by suburban Detroiters for republicans dating back to Reagan.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:45:07 AM PST

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    •  I still don't see how that's an issue... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, VClib

      ...for federal prosecutors.

      you left out the contract clause argument, which illustrates that pensioners do, in fact, have constitutional rights.  If it takes a state-appointed city manager to void a contract, it follows from that the contract would have otherwise been honored.

      I'm no lawyer, but wouldn't the plaintiff of a suit filed against the EFM law on the basis of pensioners' contract rights have to a party to the contract—i.e., a pensioner (or perhaps a pensioner class)? Has the federal government acted as plaintiff in a civil action like that in the past?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 10:49:56 AM PST

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      •  well, the two are not mutually exclusive (0+ / 0-)

        i don't think the DOJ can be the plaintiff seeking recovery in its own right, but it may have some other points of leverage, including some other statutory bases that could slip this in through the back door, maybe something in ERISA, though that's enforced by DOL mainly.  Perhaps an equal protection argument?  given the state of michigan's economy, i'd be curious to see what financially strapped municipalities haven't been taken over.  It's hard because state issues seem to predominate, though.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 11:00:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pensioners' rights are more limited; (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, Eric Nelson, VClib

      the argument from the CC re: the collective bargaining agreement, however, is pretty strong.  I remember reading up on pensions a few weeks ago and was surprised that their future pension benefits could be cut back in some circumstances.  

      OTOH, it's tough to see how the EMF could just void a union contract w/o running afoul of the contracts clause.

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