Judge Says Detroit Bankruptcy Unconstitutional


American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) president Lee Saunders said in a written statement, "Gov. Snyder and [Kevyn] Orr are not above the law and cannot ignore the Michigan constitution.

"AFSCME members challenged Snyder in court over the unlawful bankruptcy authorization that cleared the way for Detroit Emergency Manager [Kevyn] Orr to attack public worker pensions," he added. "Today, the judge ruled against Snyder and Orr and accused them of using bankruptcy as a backdoor around the state constitutional protection of pension benefits."

The AFSCME has 1.6 million members with over 5,000 in Detroit. Saunders said the average public service pension is less than $18,000 per year.

"We urge Snyder and Orr to immediately abandon their course of action," Saunders said, "and to follow the judge's order directing 'the emergency manager to immediately withdraw the Chapter 9 petition' and to 'not authorize any further Chapter 9 filing that threatens to diminish or impair accrued pension benefits.'"

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