Michigan AG taking strong stance to back Detroit pensions

Published On: Jul 29 2013 10:40:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 29 2013 11:20:17 PM EDT

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state Constitution cannot be ignored, and it protects retirees' pensions.


The ultimate decision facing Judge Steven Rhodes is this: Does Michigan's Constitution, which protects retiree pensions, supersede federal bankruptcy law?

That's what Attorney General Bill Schuette is going to argue.

"My job as attorney general is to aggressively advocate that position," the AG said.

Detroit's emergency manager and the high-powered restructuring specialists working on the city's Chapter 9 filing believe that federal law trumps Michigan's Constitution.

Would Detroit retirees be left with nothing? No, but there would be a reduction to pensions. How steep a reduction has yet to be determined.

Knowing all of this, Schuette will still argue Detroit's pensioners should be made whole. His chances of success are limited.

"Anybody who knows me knows that I'm an attorney general that supports and defends the Constitution," he said.

The governor, for his part, sees the AG's role in the bankruptcy limited to the Michigan Constitution question.

"There is still a request in front of the bankruptcy judge to appoint a creditor's committee that will include retirees, so they will be the party that will really be representing retirees, but I also appreciate the attorney general understanding there is a constitutional issue," said Gov. Rick Snyder.


The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus