Tuesday, September 30, 2014

rule of law: speaking of filthy (and thirsty) unprofitable little peasants...,

csmonitor |  The judge presiding over Detroit's bankruptcy said Monday he could not block the city of Detroit from cutting off water access to residents with delinquent bills. 

With this order, Judge Steven Rhodes rejected the pleas from thousands of protesters who argued over the summer that water is a basic human right. Those protests briefly grabbed headlines during the historic bankruptcy proceedings that have consumed the city since last year. Even the United Nations criticized Detroit for human rights violations, after the city's mass water shutoffs. 

But in response to a lawsuit filed to mandate a six-month moratorium on shutoffs, Judge Rhodes said there is no legal basis for citizens to claim water rights. 

"Chapter 9 strictly limits the courts' power in a bankruptcy case," he said, according to the Detroit Free Press. Detroit represents the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

He also said banning water shutoffs would be a blow to Detroit's finances that the city cannot afford. 
"The last thing (Detroit) needs is this hit to its revenues," he said, according to The Detroit News

Rhodes agreed in part with the plaintiffs – which include water customers, attorneys, and welfare rights groups – that long-term damage can occur when people do not have access to water. Still, he said "significant harm" could happen in the case of a six-month moratorium, reports Michigan Radio

In a city that can often be painted as a symbol of American manufacturing decline and urban decay, the water shutoffs offer a window onto the basic steps the city must take in order to make the long journey of recovery, says Aaron Renn, an analyst with the urban policy website, The Urbanophile.


Vic78 said...

The people of Detroit could use a few of these http://www.islandsky.com right about now...I'm surprised CA hasn't jumped on it.