Supreme Court Blocks Chrysler Asset Sale

It’s not clear yet how this will turn out but it is significant that the court wants to take a closer look:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the sale of Chrysler’s assets after a group of Indiana pension funds appealed the sale. The funds argued that the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat is unconstitutional. A court spokesman said that the sale is stayed “pending further order of the court.”

From Bloomberg:

June 8 (Bloomberg) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a delay in Chrysler LLC’s planned asset sale to a group led by Italy’s Fiat SpA while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a request for a longer postponement that might scuttle the deal.

SCOTUSBLOG has more. The delay may just be procedural:

Among the likely explanations for her action:

* Ginsburg may have decided to share the decision on what to do with her eight colleagues, and they needed more time to think or talk about it.

* Members of the Court may have decided that they wanted to give some explanation, or perhaps some may have decided to dissent and wanted a chance to prepare a statement saying so. In the meantime, it was her task, as the Circuit Justice, to impose a limited stay.

* Ginsburg or the Court may be waiting to see how the Second Circuit explains its decision to uphold the terms of the sale. The Circuit Court issued no opinion on Friday, indicating that such an explanation would come “in due course,” although the expectation was that one or more opinions would emerge from those judges on Monday.

The wording of Ginsburg’s order — “stayed pending further order” — is the conventional way by which a Justice or the Court carries out an action that is expected to be short term in duration, and not controlling — or even hinting at — the ultimate outcome. Any speculation that her order meant the Court was leaning toward a further postponement would be unfounded.

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