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State motion to dismiss unions’ pension legal challenge on tap for December

November 8, 2012

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter is slated to consider next month a motion by the state to dismiss the challenge filed by a series of unions against Rhode Island’s landmark 2011 pension overhaul.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for December 7. It is not known how long Taft-Carter will take to make her decision on the motion.

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, has predicted the unions are going to win their lawsuit seeking to overturn the pension overhaul.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who led the shaping of the battlefield for the pension overhaul,said in April she expected the state to win, and then later declined to offer a prediction on the outlook in court.

The state’s motion to dismiss is just an early step in what is expected to be a long battle in court.

In related news, Mike Stanton reports that the state is asking the RI Supreme Court to bar Taft-Carter from hearing the pension case:

Lawyers for the state asked the Rhode Island Supreme Court Wednesday to block Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter’s decision to remain on the case. Taft-Carter’s son is a Rhode Island state trooper and her mother collects a $22,000-a-year death benefit from her late husband, former Cranston Mayor James Taft.

Taft-Carter ruled Nov. 2 that she would not recuse herself from a challenge to the pension overhaul filed by several public-employee unions in June.

A Superior Court decision in the unions’ favor would almost certainly be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

This post has been updated and expanded.

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