Detroit Pensions Not Protected By Constitution In Bankruptcy

The fallout from the economic collapse in late 2007 continues. The recent filing by the City of Detroit for bankruptcy protection is the largest public sector bankruptcy petition ever filed. Looming in the background was Michigan’s Public Law 436, which granted the City consent to seek bankruptcy protection from pension obligations. At risk were the pensions of every City employee and retiree. Detroit estimated its debt to be $18…

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Mandatory Post-Shooting Breathalyzer Testing of NYPD Officers is Legal

The special needs doctrine permits reasonable warrantless, suspicionless searches when there is a governmental interest that outweighs the privacy interest asserted by the person searched. In Skinner v. Railway Execs Association, 489 U.S. 602 (1989), for example, the governmental interest was ensuring that train engineers not operate locomotives while under the influence of intoxicants and that the engineers, knowing testing would occur in the event of any accident, would…

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Federal Court: Cleveland’s Mandatory Police and Fire Retirement at 65 is Legal

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it unlawful “for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual…because of such individual’s age.” Simple, straight-forward, easy to read. So when several Cleveland, Ohio police officers forced into retirement at age 65 sued the City for violating the ADEA, a similarly-worded Ohio state statute, and the Equal Protection Clause…

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