Skip to main content

SCOTUS Denies cert

Image result for Trump


On Tuesday morning of this week, the Supreme Court of the United States denied cert in Unite Here v. Trump Entertainment Resorts.  In plain English, it denied appeal, which means that the decision of the court below stands.

Chapter 1113 of the bankruptcy code allows the debtor, here the Trump entity, to reject a collectively bargained agreement (CBA) under certain circumstances. This seems to put bankruptcy law at odds with the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRA prohibits an employer from unilaterally changing the terms of a CBA even after the agreement has on its own terms expired.

In this case the union, Unite Here Local 54, said that the bankruptcy court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to amend the contract terms in Trump's favor. But the bankruptcy court decided that  the more specific law prevails over the more general: section 1113 holds here. So it granted Trump's motion.

This is surely a case of what the presidential candidate who is a namesake of this corporate entity calls "working the system" in his favor. Of course once he is President he will use the same talents on our own behalf, on behalf of the whole people of the United States. And if you believe that, he'll sell you a famous bridge in his favorite city.

In this case he and his corporate entities worked the system so as to avoid their negotiated responsibilities regarding pensions, health insurances, severance funds, paid meal times and paid holidays. All the features of employment that separate old-fashioned middle class work from something distinctly lower-rung.

Anyway, the Third Circuit (which includes New Jersey, where the corporation involved is headquartered) upheld the decision of the bankruptcy court early this year. The decision says,  "[T]he authority to reject an executory contract is vital to the basic purpose to a Chapter 11 reorganization, because rejection can release the debtor's estate from burdensome obligations that can impede a successful reorganization." 

That is the judgment that SCOTUS has now allowed to stand.  That settles the legal question for the Third Circuit, but not for the remainder of the court, because a rejection of cert has no precedential effect.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.



We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…