Click here for a short summary of the issue. Click here for a detailed timeline.
See also the Pension Rights Center website.
Click here for ex-St. Peter's CEO John Matuska's 2011 letter to the IRS.
Click here for ex-St. Peter's VP of HR Bruce Pardo's 2011 letter to the IRS.
Haga clic aqui para verun resumen del problema en español.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Monday's Supreme Court Hearing

This past Monday, March 27, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the consolidated case — including Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al., v. Laurence Kaplan, et al. — that will decide whether church-affiliated organizations such as Saint Peter's are entitled to shield their pension plans from federal ERISA regulations. Arguing before the court were Lisa Blatt, for the hospital corporations; Malcolm Stewart, for the U.S. Government in support of the hospitals; and James Feldman, for the pension plan members. A transcript of the session is available here, and an audio recording here.

It's difficult to predict the outcome of the ruling based on the questions asked. Though the focus stayed mainly on the language of the ERISA statute, there was also much focus on why church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals were or were not entitled to be considered churches for the purposes of the statute. There were tough questions for both sides of the argument. Other than feeling hopeful, and perhaps cautiously optimistic, there seems little to do but await the court's ruling, expected by late June. In the meantime, here's news coverage of the hearing: