RI Supreme Court decides not to delay pension case or rule on Taft-Carter

Dec 6, 2012

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has declined a state motion to stay the big pension case pending before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter. Via news release:

In the matter of Rhode Island Public Employees’ Retiree Coalition et al v. Lincoln Chafee et al, the Supreme Court today declined to intervene in the union and coalition lawsuits against the state regarding the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011.

Attorneys for the state had petitioned the Supreme Court for a stay of the Superior Court proceedings before Associate Justice Sarah Taft-Carter and had asked the high court to review Judge Taft-Carter’s decision not to recuse from the case.

The Court noted the substantial public interest in the pension case, “requiring the resolution of complex questions of constitutional law, the speedy, effective, and efficient determination of which is of incalculable importance to all of the state’s citizens.”

“When measured against such weighty concerns,” the Court said, “the necessity of immediate review of the trial justice’s careful decision declining to recuse from this case – as well as of inevitable future rulings in this litigation which are certain to be disputed or controversial – appears less compelling.”

The state’s petitions were intermediate steps in the overall lawsuits. The Supreme Court’s decision today means the case will return to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

Judge Taft-Carter is expected to hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. Friday, December 7, in Providence County Superior Court on other motions related to the case.