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View Diary: Challenges to Detroit bankruptcy will be decided in bankruptcy court, judge rules (72 comments)

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  •  Perhaps you should look at the rules for Ch 9 (0+ / 0-)

    which say a plan will be confirmed IF:

    the debtor is not prohibited by law from taking any action necessary to carry out the plan; ...
    Michigan law and the Michigan constitution specifically prohibit diminishment of accrued public employee pension benefits by governmental entities. I'm sure there will be some specious arguments made to justify the fuck job, but the constitution of Michigan was amended in 1963 and the pension protection entered specifically to protect public sector employees, because their pensions were not protected federally.

    Further, since the plan must conform to the "not prohibited by law" section, and reducing already accrued benefits is specifically prohibited, this arguably prevents a cram down.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:10:01 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Respectfully (0+ / 0-)

      You're desperately oversimplifying the analysis.  Especially as it relates to the concept of "prohibited by law."

      But it's OK.  I actually hope you're right for the sake of the Detroit retirees, although unfortunately I don't think you are.

      •  Admittedly, I'm trying to make the best case (0+ / 0-)

        but are you saying when the the Michigan Constitution  - Article IX - Section 24: Public pension plans and retirement systems, obligation. says

        Sec. 24. The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.
        Using shall language, that is not a prohibition by law?

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:47:19 AM PDT

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      •  Respectfully . . . . (0+ / 0-)

        You were wrong about Florida, and apparently the Attorney General of the State of Michigan agrees with my desperate oversimplification:

        Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said on Saturday he would join Detroit’s federal bankruptcy case to defend retirees who risk losing public pensions, arguing that the state’s constitution protects their benefits.

        Schuette said Michigan’s constitution is “crystal clear” in stating that pension plans are a contractual obligation that may not be diminished or impaired.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

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        •  That's Great (0+ / 0-)

          But the fact that Michigan wants to have an adversarial procedure in bankruptcy court does not mean more than just that; that they are willing to litigate the question. It does not mean that I'm wrong about what the outcome will be.  If, however, the bankruptcy and higher federal courts say that I am, I'll gladly change my view. Hopefully if I'm right about what the outcome of this will be, you will do the same?

          •  That depends on whether or not the (0+ / 0-)

            legal thinking of the bankrupcty court is indeed legal thinking, or, like the decision of SCOTUS in the recent VRA case, pure horse shit.

            I've gone on the record with why I think they can't reduce the accrued pensions . . . ask you do the same.   Upon what do you base your opinion?

            I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by bobdevo on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:32:55 PM PDT

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            •  See this is How I Know (0+ / 0-)

              You aren't a lawyer.  Even SCOTUS' VRA decision was grounded in law. It was not "pure horse shit." It was grounded in an analysis that gave credence to a legal argument advanced by the parties. And I say that as someone who despises the Shelby County decision and has been working every day with other lawyers on the fight to mitigate its impact.  None of us who actually practice law believe that there was no legal foundation for the outcome; just that it was reached through disingenuous reasoning.  

              I've already said what my opinion is and why: it is grounded in the Bankruptcy Code as federal law and its primacy when state laws are in conflict with it. I also was careful to say that I hope I am wrong, even if I don't think I am.

              •  Oh, please . . . . (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not a lawyer, but I dare say I've written more briefs to federal and state appellate courts than you have -  and probably participated in more trials, as I've been doing it since 1978.

                The rationale for the VRA decision - that racism is over and no longer a problem in the pre-approval areas - is quite simply horse shit - and dressing it up by calling it disingenuous reasoning based on a legal foundation is putting lip stick on a pig.

                I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by bobdevo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:08:33 AM PDT

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                •  Uh Huh (0+ / 0-)

                  You sound like the standard litigious pro bono person, none of who has ever figured out that they are not a lawyer and therefore really has no foundation to argue with one about what the law actually says.  Thus, it's a waste of time trying to actually have a discussion about the law with you in light of that.

                  Good luck with your next brief.

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