WASHINGTON - Three Indiana state pension and construction funds want the Supreme Court to block Chrysler's sale to Fiat so they can pursue an appeal in hopes of getting a better deal.
Also filing emergency papers at the high court yesterday were lawyers representing consumer groups and individuals with product-related lawsuits.
An appeals court in New York approved the sale Friday, but gave objectors until this afternoon to try to get the Supreme Court to intervene.
Chrysler LLC wants to sell the bulk of its assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat Group SpA as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.
The emergency requests went first to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who handles such matters from New York.
She can act on her own or refer it to the entire court.
The Indiana State Police Pension Fund, the Indiana Teacher's Retirement Fund and the state's Major Moves Construction Fund claim the deal unfairly favors the interests of Chrysler's unsecured stakeholders ahead of those of secured debtholders such as the funds.
The funds also challenged the constitutionality of the Treasury Department's use of money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to supply Chrysler's bankruptcy protection financing.
They say the government did so without congressional authority.
The government-sponsored reorganization of the U.S. auto industry, including the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings, "is a matter of incredibly high profile and importance," the funds said in their request to the high court. The second request contests a condition of the sale agreement that would release the new company from pending and future product liability claims related to vehicles sold before the new company's creation. *