Archives: Pension Reform Litigation

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Illinois Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Chicago Pension Reform Act

This morning, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Jones v. Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, unanimously striking down Public Act 98-641, the pension reform bill for the City of Chicago. For a detailed summary of the underlying facts and court rulings, see here and here. For our report on … Continue Reading

Unanimous Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down State Public Pension Reform Act

As we predicted, the Illinois Supreme Court has unanimously struck down the state Public Pension Reform Act. The Court’s opinion was written by Justice Lloyd Karmeier. We’ve written extensively about the background of the pension debate and the legal issues involved over the past year. For a guide to our previous posts, both here and … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Likely Poised to Strike Down Pension Reform Act

This afternoon, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument on the biggest case on its civil docket, In re Pension Reform Litigation. In re Pension Reform Litigation involves the question of whether SB-1, the pension reform act adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2013, violates the Illinois Constitution’s Pension Protection Clause. The Clause provides: … Continue Reading

The Pension Case: The State’s Reply Brief

In their reply brief in the Public Pension Reform Act appeal, the State immediately zeroes in on what it perceives as the central difficulty of the plaintiffs’ position: the trial court’s conclusion that the Pension Protection Clause had no exceptions at all. Plaintiffs’ “super-contract approach,” the State writes, “would deny the State the ability to … Continue Reading

The Illinois Pension Plaintiffs’ Brief: The Cause of State Underfunding, and The Constitutional Convention Revisited

As we’ve written here, here and here, the plaintiffs in the Pension Reform Litigation pending before the Illinois Supreme Court needed to accomplish three things in their Appellees’ Briefs to put themselves in a position to prevail – answer the State’s construction of: (1) the history that led to the Pension Reform Act; (2) the … Continue Reading

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part III: The Opponents and the Vote

We conclude our discussion of the July 21, 1970 debate on the Pension Protection Clause at the Illinois Constitutional Convention.  Today, we’ll take a look at more statements by opponents of the measure, the summations by the co-sponsors, and the vote. After Delegate Kinney’s remarks, Delegate Lyons, the Vice-President of the Convention, spoke.  “I am … Continue Reading

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part II: The Clause is Introduced

Although there were several reasons for the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, public pensions became a major subject of discussion in the weeks before the delegates gathered.  Elmer Getz, the Chair of the Convention’s Bill of Rights Committee, wrote: “I began to receive an extraordinary number of communications on the pension and retirement rights of government … Continue Reading

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part I: The New Jersey Spina Decision

One of the central issues in the ongoing battle, now pending before the Illinois Supreme Court, is about what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1970 who adopted Illinois’ Pension Protection Clause understood the Clause to mean. The State argues in defense of the pension reform bill that the Clause was merely intended to … Continue Reading

State’s Defense of Pension Reform: Constitutional Convention Couldn’t Make Pension Protection Absolute (Even If It Wanted To)

Today we continue our discussion of the centerpiece of the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket – the public pension reform case – with a look at the State’s Opening Brief, which was filed January 12, 2015.  As we’ll see below, the State’s defense of the Pension Reform bill almost certainly sets up an all-out fight … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Denies All Ten Amici Requests in Support of State in Pension Appeal

Over four days in mid-January, no fewer than ten entities – public entities, charitable institutions and individuals – filed motions for leave to file amicus briefs in support of the State’s defense of the public pension reform statute.  All told, the amici amounted to 265 pages of briefing, on top of the State’s own fifty … Continue Reading