EngageRI offers the legal case for the state pension overhaul

Engage Rhode Island, the deep-pocketed advocacy group closely tied to Treasurer Gina Raimondo, released an unsigned three-page document [pdf] on Monday that makes the case for the legality of the 2011 pension law. Here’s the core of the argument:

If the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirms Judge Taft-Carter’s Decision, it will reverse its own precedent on the unmistakability doctrine, and create new constitutional law which will differ from federal court precedent and the precedent of the majority of state courts in this country. … If the judiciary can require a legislature to bind itself forever through one legislative act, which can never be revisited, the judiciary is thereby given too much power. Thus, it is important to hold from a separation of powers perspective that, unless the legislature’s intent to create contractual rights against the state is unmistakably clear, it should be free to amend its own legislation in the future.

Read the entire PDF here. For an alternative view, check out this from RWU Law’s Michael Yelnosky.

• Related: Mediation to continue in RI pension suit after judge gets update (Feb. 28)

9 thoughts on “EngageRI offers the legal case for the state pension overhaul

  1. If the pension reform fails or is seriously ‘mediated’ in the unions’ favor watch for the exodus out of RI to pick up steam!

    • Well, Bob, if you’ll only stay in RI if the State makes sure contracts are broken whenever the State feels like it, good riddance to you and yours. Go live someplace where the rule of law is nonexistent. Try Libya.

  2. Surely there must be stronger legal arguments for removing contract rights. Obviously, this case will be litigated primarily through politics, but it would be nice to see EngageRI at least try to present real legal arguments.

  3. Who cares what Texas billionaires and their lackeys think about the abridgment of contracts in Rhode Island. The legislature can not modify a contract at will, this case has nothing to do with the perpetuity of legislation, and everything to do with the illegal breaking of contracts. EngageRI is running scared because they know the clock is ticking on pension theft.

  4. I know how I feel but, how does everyone else feel about being led like a dog on a leash from a rich guy who doesn’t even live in our state. Were like his live action game he gets to play. Shame on Raimondo who would allow this individual to use her fellow Rhode Islanders like this. If this guy’s got so much money , why doesn’t he make investments in RI future. Some may say he is investing by getting rid of workers and seeing people go with out work. Some stratergy. Were being owned by someone that may not have even stepped foot in RI. I would love to know what him an Gina’s master plan is in the end. Every one go fetch your leashes so we can be taken out to do our duty and maybe we’ll get a doggie biscuit.

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