This week in Michigan politics: Detroit's bankruptcy case, Judge Steven Rhodes, dissolving schools

Jul 24, 2013

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the legality of Detroit's filing for bankruptcy, Judge Steven Rhodes and the first federal bankruptcy hearing today, and the fate of Buena Vista and Inkster school districts.

Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, what now?

Last Thursday, the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection. The next day, Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina of Ingham County claimed that the filing violated the Michigan Constitution and must be withdrawn. But Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed Judge Aquilina’s ruling, and the Michigan Court of Appeals blocked the order to withdraw Detroit's bankruptcy filing. Today federal Judge Steven Rhodes will hold the first hearing on the city's bankruptcy case; he will take up Kevyn Orr's request to put state lawsuits challenging the bankruptcy filing on hold. In this case, it's important to remember that federal law always trumps state law.

The Honorable Steven Rhodes is presiding

Federal Judge Steven Rhodes is a highly regarded federal bankruptcy judge with plenty of experience and is very familiar with Detroit. He will preside over Detroit's federal bankruptcy filing hearing, and Jack Lessenberry thinks he is a good fit for this case.

Buena Vista and Inkster school districts to be dissolved

On July 2nd, Governor Snyder signed a bill that allowed the state to dissolve financially struggling school districts with enrollment between 300 and 2,400 pupils. Both Buena Vista and Inkster school districts missed a 5 pm deadline on Monday to prove they had enough money to keep doors open next school year, and will effectively be dissolved. Saginaw Intermediate School District officials have scheduled a community forum for tonight at 6 p.m. at Buena Vista High School to discuss plans for transferring students. Wayne County’s intermediate school district board will meet Thursday to vote on the new boundaries that will determine where Inkster’s students will go to school.

- Erica Decker, Michigan Radio Newsroom