WATCH: Opening Statements Made As Chicago Pension Case Hits Supreme Court

Chicago’s pension overhaul entered the halls of the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday, as attorneys for both sides laid the groundwork for their respective arguments.

Watch a video of the proceedings above.

A brief recap of the statements, from the Northwest Herald:

Lawyers attempted to convince the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday that Chicago’s plan to save its pension program from insolvency does not violate the state Constitution’s protection against reduced benefits because it ensures there will be, for decades to come, money to keep those checks moving.

Or, as city lawyer Stephen Patton put it: “The participants are immeasurably better off with it, than without it.”

In the second public pension-overhaul case before the high court in eight months, Patton tried to differentiate his arguments from a separate, landmark pension plan involving state-employee retirement funds that the same justices rejected. Patton said shoring up the city’s pension accounts trumps the benefit reductions for 75,000 city workers and retirees.

Lawyers for city workers contesting the law, however, tried to link it directly to the state case, which was argued in March. The court dumped that plan two months later, saying Springfield can’t cut into its $111 billion pension-account shortfall by unilaterally reducing benefits – a violation of the 1970 Constitution’s “pension protection clause.”

If the above video isn’t working, click this link.


Photo by bitsorf via Flickr CC License

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