Is SCOTUS Preparing a Landmark Decision Against Obama?

In a one sentence order, Justice Ginsburg left open the possibility that the SCOTUS may scotch the Chrysler-Fiat deal that gives 29 cents on the dollar to the Indiana Fund and other Chrysler bondholders.

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Order read as follow:

“UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants, and the responses filed thereto, IT IS ORDERED that the orders of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, case No. 09-50002, dated May 31 and June 1, 2009, are stayed pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.”

So, what does this mean?  According to,

The action had almost no legal significance, however.  The deal remains in legal limbo until Ginsburg, as the Circuit Justice, or the full Court takes some definitive action. There is now no timetable for further action at the Supreme Court, although the terms of the deal allow Chrysler’s new business spouse — Fiat, the Italian automaker — to back out as of next Monday if the deal has not closed.  Moreover, the papers filed in the Supreme Court have suggested that Chrysler is losing money at the rate of $100 million a day, pending the sale. That gives the Justices some incentive not to let much time pass before acting.

The wording of Ginsburg’s order — “stayed pending further order” — is the conventional way by which a Justice or the Court carries out an action that is expected to be short term in duration, and not controlling — or even hinting at — the ultimate outcome.  Any speculation that her order meant the Court was leaning toward a further postponement would be unfounded.

In 1935, the SCOTUS declared FDR’s National Recovery Act of 1933 unconstitutional and thereby slowed another presidential administration and Congress that was overreaching its authority.  

Will history repeat itself?