Ingham County judge rules Detroit bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional, must be withdrawn

Judge says bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional as it threatens to cut pension benefits for Detroit retirees


LANSING, Mich. – An Ingham County judge is calling for the withdrawal of Detroit's Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filing because it violates the state constitution and law.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Friday that Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr must not take any further actions toward cutting pension benefits.

View: Judge Aquilina's order

Detroit's two pension boards filed a lawsuit to block Orr and Snyder's bankruptcy filing. However, Snyder authorized Orr's filing for bankruptcy Thursday before the judge could hear the case.

Read: Detroit pension boards file lawsuit to stop bankruptcy

Judge Aquilina says Snyder must order Orr to withdraw the Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing and make sure he does not authorize any more Chapter 9 filings which threaten "to diminish or impair accrued pension benefits."

Attorney General Bill Schuette, on Snyder's behalf, is appealing the judge's ruling.

It's not clear what happens if Snyder does not comply with the judge's ruling.

About the Author: