Sunday, June 28, 2015

Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler LLC

Hardly anyone even remembers or thinks about Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler LLC.

During a May 29, 2009 interview with Human Events, Mourdock said, "This is the first time in the history of American bankruptcy law when secured creditors received less than unsecured creditors." Mourdock also stated, "The Chrysler deal is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and more than 150 years of bankruptcy law." Mourdock also stated that under the Fifth Amendment, private property cannot "be taken without due process of law. That clearly has not happened in this case. There has been no process of law consistent with long-standing precedent whatsoever."

On May 26, 2009, while speaking in front of U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa, Mourdock stated, "As fiduciaries, we can't allow our retired police officers and teachers to be ripped off by the federal government. The Indiana state funds suffered losses when the Obama administration overturned more than 100 years of established law by redefining 'secured creditors' to mean something less... The court filing is aimed not only at recouping those losses but also reasserting the rule of law..."

During a May 21, 2009, interview with Reuters, Mourdock stated, "They bought according to the rules, and then the rules got changed," and, "Our portfolios are no longer going to buy the secured debt of American corporations that are accepting bailout moneys. It is an unacceptable risk for us to purchase that debt."
The ultimate outcome
On December 14, 2009, the Supreme Court granted the cert petition in Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler LLC and vacated the underlying Second Circuit opinion, but remanded the case with instructions to dismiss the appeal as moot. While the Court had declined to hear the case on June 9 which allowed the Obama administration's wealth redistribution BK plan to proceed without ruling on its merits, its Dec 14 action effectively de-legitimized the BK plan, yet the Court did not issue a ruling to explain its actions. This was far from the ideal outcome for the Indiana pensioners who sought equitable relief from the high court, but the vacatur of a flawed lower court decision is nevertheless an important development that will maintain the integrity of bankruptcy law going forward.
Does the absolute priority rule apply with respect to secured claims at union labor companies when a Democrat president is in office? Who knows.

1 comment:

Mr. Gotham said...

I think the muni BK cases in Detroit and Stockton would suggest it does not.