How Public Pension Contracts Violate the U.S. Constitution

Public sector pension contracts have started to bankrupt communities and threaten the economic viability of states such as Illinois. Taxpayers are entitled to a conversation as to whether or not these contracts violate the U.S. Constitution.  In many states, public sector pension contracts are protected by clauses in that state’s constitution. The words usually used are that public sector pension contracts are contractual agreements that “cannot be diminished or impaired.” An argument against these would take the position that under the Fourteenth Amendment all persons are guaranteed equal protection under state laws. No state can pass a law, for example, which clearly specifies that the minimum wage for a man must be four dollars an hour more than the minimum wage paid to a woman. No one would defend such a law because it clearly classifies persons into two groups. But this is exactly what state constitutions do with regard to pension contracts. These...(Read Full Article)

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