Detroit’s historic bankruptcy filing was thrown into turmoil Friday afternoon, sparking a court battle between a judge and the state’s attorney general a day after the city’s state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection.
A judge in Michigan ruled that the bankruptcy filing violated Michigan’s constitution because it would prove detrimental to the pension and benefits of public employees. Circuit Court Judge Rosmarie Aquilina ordered Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to stop moving forward with bankruptcy proceedings as a result of three separate lawsuits, stating that the bankruptcy was a way for city officials to illegally circumvent city pension obligations.
At the end of the order, Aquilina took the unusual move of writing that “a copy of this order shall be transmitted to President Obama.”
Shortly after, state Atty. Gen. Bill Schuette pledged to appeal Aquilina’s ruling, stating that he would seek emergency consideration with the Michigan Court of Appeals. He also filed motions to stay the trial court rulings and any future proceedings while the appeals proceed, according to a prepared statement sent by Schuette spokeswoman Joy Yearout.