Yesterday the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected a challenge brought by some county employees - generally sheriff's deputies - who did not benefit from the "last straw" pension giveaways. Two things.
1. It is in no sense a vindication of what Ament and his capos did. The court said that the county had, as required by law, sought advice in the sense that it asked someone. The court refused to evaluate the quality of the advice or the intelligence of the questions. It even said that it did not matter if officials lied about the advice or the plan. Very formalistic. Second, it rejected the plaintiff's argument that their interest in the security of the pension fund had been taken because the county still has an obligation to pay. It did not consider whether the county can pay or at what cost.
2. The latter is pretty thin gruel for public employees who want to challenge irresponsible stewardship of their pension fund. Doesn't it come close to saying that you don't have a claim until the governmental body can't afford to pay your claim? In defense of the court, I'm not sure how you'd go about determining what the county has the capacity to fund since it is, largely, a political question.