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.


Popular posts from this blog

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

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…

Hume's Cutlery

David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.

Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.

His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.

Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.

The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.

I'm curious whe…