Yesterday Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ Attorney General and daughter of Party Boss Michael Madigan, went before Judge Belz and responded to the pension theft lawsuits.
The state filed its response to five lawsuits filed by retired teachers, state workers, university employees and public employee unions seeking to have last year’s pension reform law declared unconstitutional. The lawsuits argue that the law violates the pension protections in the Illinois Constitution that say pension benefits cannot be impaired or diminished.
In its response the state said that “in light of the magnitude of the pension problem and all of the other efforts the state has made to date, the (law) represents a valid exercise of the state’s reserved sovereign powers to modify contractual rights and obligations.”
Also known as the state’s police powers.
AG Lisa Madigan makes her case here.
Glen Brown addresses the issue of the state’s police and emergency powers on his blog.
“…Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency. What power was thus granted and what limitations were thus imposed are questions which have always been, and always will be, the subject of close examination under our constitutional system” (U.S. Supreme Court, Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. (1934))…
There is no justice in diminishing the benefits and rights of public employees and retirees in order to award financial welfares for the wealthy among us; there is no justice in granting tax breaks for wealthy corporations and, at the same time, legislating cuts to public employees’ constitutionally-promised compensation. It is legally and morally wrong to perpetuate the victimization of public employees and retirees, especially when Illinois legislators give “undeserved weight to highly-organized wealthy interest groups, [those groups] tending to ‘drain politics of its moral and intellectual content’” (Laurence H. Tribe, American Constitutional Law)…