12/9/12

Boies In Labor-State Carcass-Picking

Decay of Prog social model attracts pernicious scavengers
Rhode Island’s blue-on-blue showdown is heating up. Famed litigator David Boies is taking a 96 percent pay cut to represent the state against recalcitrant public sector unions.

Public unions and their allies maintain that state pensions are owed, intact, to their recipients, and that any tinkering with benefits amounts to theft and criminal breach of contract. Boies and others disagree. The New York Times reports:
“There’s no contract,” he said. “Even if there was a contract, the state, pursuing the public interest, has the right to modify contracts.”

Cities, states and their lawyers around the country are following the case avidly, said Amy B. Monahan, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who has written extensively on legal aspects of employee benefits. Many are wondering whether their own pension systems are sustainable, she said, and if not, how to make them so.
As the blue social model decays, the coalition that was once united behind it is becoming increasingly splintered and parochial. Boies, known for representing Al Gore, waging antitrust battles against Microsoft, and fighting California’s Proposition 8 in federal court, has impeccable bona fides as a liberal Democrat. But in the face of economic realities, he and other blue liberals are being forced to make fundamental choices about their values and goals.
(full story at blogs.the-american-interest.com)

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