Hit & Run

Steven Greenhut Says the Court Pension Ruling Gives Detroit New Hope

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atomicity/Flickr

During a trip to Detroit in the 1980s, a cab driver gave Steven Greenhut an ad hoc tour of some of the city's deteriorating neighborhoods. It was shocking even to someone who grew up in the Rust Belt. Things have gotten even worse in the ensuing decades. After Detroit declared bankruptcy, commentators wondered what went wrong. Greenhut and others wondered what took so long. In a Tuesday ruling giving bankruptcy the nod, Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that pension rights, which have protections in the Michigan constitution, can be "impaired" under federal bankruptcy law. This could have nationwide impact if it becomes precedent.